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Neo4j GraphGists: a smart way to share graphs

One of the main graphical and logical ways to represent a network is a graph – a combination of nodes and edges (each usually containing labels) where each node represents an entity, such as a person, government or institution, and edges are the links between them. In this sense, convenient tools for graph implementation and manipulation make themselves necessary, and that is where Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database comes in. Neo4j [1] is a browser-based tool, where the user has the chance to easily create and manage all kinds of simple and complex graphs, thanks to its intuitive interface, helpful tutorials and the powerful Cypher query language.

One interesting thing about Neo4j is its user’s community. Neo4j’s homepage shows many examples of huge corporations that make use of their system to some end; there is, however, a place for everyone under the sun. An example that easily comes to mind is the GraphGist [2] community. GraphGists are a way to show the world the graphs one has developed, their use and even include Cypher queries that can be run in real-time.

One GraphGist available online [3], for example, shows a graph database for detecting potential stores that are cloning their clients’ credit cards, using people and stores as nodes, and an edge between them if the person has made a purchase in that store. Analyzing the stores where people who had their cards cloned have shopped, one could narrow the search for the ill-intentioned company. Another example [4] shows how a graph network could be used in a school with limited resources and teachers.

The fun thing about GraphGists, however, are the graphs for fictional universes. Say one is interested in learning Cypher; what better way to do it, then, if not by querying the Harry Potter universe? [5]

[1] Neo4j Homepage: http://neo4j.com/

[2] GraphGists: https://github.com/neo4j-contrib/graphgist/wiki

[3] Credit Card Fraud Detection: http://gist.neo4j.org/?3ad4cb2e3187ab21416b

[4] Planning Graph for schools: http://gist.neo4j.org/?1558d1e0fd6f96f78b77

[5] Harry Potter World: http://gist.neo4j.org/?7598989

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