Characteristics of hidden populations cannot be studied using standard sampling and estimation procedures. The methods for estimating the population proportion of hidden population using social network. The simplified sampling procedure based on Markov-chain model and discusses the equivalence of these procedures. Describe a simplified sampling procedure for collecting data on both the population and its social network, and provide a simple formula to estimate the population proportion efficiently. Simulation study is provided to illustrate the new sampling and estimation method.
Salganik and Heckathorn provide a comprehensive review of sampling and estimation methods for studying hidden populations, including targeted sampling and time-space sampling. They mention that these methods often fail to provide accurate estimates of the true values. They further point out that a common drawback of most methods is that they fail to use the social network relationships in many hidden populations, that is the network of relationships among the real people in the population, for example the network of friendships.