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Merging Actor-Network Theory with Network Graph Theory for the purposes of Regulatory engagement

Merging Actor-Network Theory with Network Graph Theory for the purposes of Regulatory engagement

Actor-Network Theory

ANT holds that social forces do not exist in themselves, and therefore cannot
be used to explain social phenomena. Instead, strictly empirical analysis
should be undertaken to "describe" rather than "explain" social activity.
Only after this can one introduce the concept of social forces, and only as
an abstract theoretical concept, not something which genuinely exists in the
world. The fundamental aim of ANT is to explore how networks are built or
assembled and maintained to achieve a specific objective.

Perhaps an example of a social map would be: social network map determined by geography

Network Theory

Network theory is the study of graphs as a representation of either symmetric
relations or asymmetric relations between discrete objects. In computer
science and network science, network theory is a part of graph theory:
a network can be defined as a graph in which nodes and/or edges have attributes
(e.g. names). 

An example of a LN network map would be a force-directed graph like: LN nodes force-directed graph

Project details

Generate a script which can dump an LND describegraph into json format, and if applicable, convert to format suitable for usage in or a similar application which can generate the desired graphs.

In the application generate a map view which shows two specific types of graphs

1. network force graph (as seen from your node)
2. social network ANT graph (requires extra info)
   - my node to nodes of people I know
   - a transaction I make with a destination

It would be nice to be able to model all of the following concurrently through the ANT graph and force graph:

- setting up a channel
- setting up a channel with a push amount
- going from onchain to LN
- going from LN to onchain
- atomic swaps
- paying an LN invoice
- making a sphinx payment


  • Lightning Network Emulator
  • An intuitive, yet unproven, conclusion is that it's not possible to directly translate network graphs to actor-network diagrams without an additional level of information (variables/plane).

For example, you need a mapping of IP addresses to geography to map a network to places. The nodes and edges don't provide this information, it has to be obtained elsewhere.

This might help explain why regulators want more information from the system, they need it to make their diagrams?

However if the network cannot provide the information sought, there is no point mandating it do so.

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