The web-based company I work for has a system that receives packets of information from external sites. I would like to know what approaches can be used to identify patterns or associations between the external sites. For example site A sends a packet on subject 1. Shortly after many other sites may send through packets on the same ID. This may be because Site 2 also received the information from Site 1 and then sent it through to us.
To make it more complicated, it is also possible that once we receive the data we would send it to one or more sites, which may then re-start the process.
The packets contain an ID field that can be used to uniquely identify the subject each packet refers to.
There are hundreds of sites, many of which aggregate packets from each other before sending them on to us. Many of the smaller sites could be excluded from the analysis if that simplifies it. We have a lot of data. Over the course of a few days we may see hundreds of packets all relating to the same ID.
Also, what approaches could be used to best visualise or display the results/patterns to a non-statistical audience? Order may be important. For example if Site 1 always sends through an ID before Site 2, then Site 2 is (possibly) getting its packets from Site 1.
Apologies for the vagueness of the question. I will aim to clarify this question if more details are requested.
EDIT: It would also be of interest to look at the analyses for individual sites.