Two kinds of relations exist, explicit relations, e.g. a friend, and implicit relations, e.g. a friend of a friend. Both kinds of relations have important roles in the real world. We propose a new method using a generalized maximum flow for measuring the strength of a relation. Particularly, our method mine objects constituting a relation by outputting several paths contributing to the generalized maximum flow, that is, paths along which a large amount of the flow is sent.
Furthermore, we propose a ranking tool based on the new method for measuring a relation described above to afford a better understanding of a relation or a ranking based on relations. Our ranking tool has the following three features for understanding a relation or a ranking based on relations: