Node and Link analysis: Centrality measures

Centrality measures are used to appraise the "importance" of the elements of the network. The problem is that "importance"

  • Is not well-defined
  • Depends on the domain of the network

During this seminar we will consider two node centrality measures: degree centrality and closeness centrality

Degree Centrality

In fact you have already met the degree centrality in this course.

Given adjacency matrix $A$ of the unweighted and undirected graph $G = (V,E)$ degree centrality of the node $v_i$ is computed as: $$ C_D(i) = \sum_j A_{ji} $$ In order to compare nodes across graphs this measure can be normalized by a factor $\frac{1}{N-1}$

Closeness Centrality

The most correspondent to the word "central". Closeness centrality is used to identify nodes that can reach other nodes quickly. $$ C_C(i) = \left[ \sum_{j,\ j\neq i} d(v_i, v_j) \right]^{-1}\text{,} $$ where $d(v_i, v_j)$ is a length of the shortest path between $v_i$ and $v_j$. Again, to be normalized it is multiplied by $(N-1)$.


Centralities allow us to

  • Understand the structure of the graph without looking at it
  • Compare nodes of a graph (between graphs) and identify the most "important"
  • Compare graphs*
In [1]:
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import networkx as nx
%matplotlib inline

Example: Zachary's Karate Club

Let's load Zachary's Karate Club network. This is quite small example so we can both calculate centralities and map them of the picture of the graph

In [34]:
G = nx.karate_club_graph()
pos = nx.spring_layout(G) # Fix node positions on all pictures
In [35]:
# Original network
nx.draw_networkx(G, pos)
In [36]:
# Degree centrality
dc = nx.degree_centrality(G)
plt.figure(1, figsize=(10,7))
coord = nx.spring_layout(G)
          node_size = [d*7000 for d in dc.values()],
In [41]:
# Closeness centrality
cl = nx.closeness_centrality(G)
plt.figure(1, figsize=(10,7))
coord = nx.spring_layout(G)
          node_size = [d*3000 for d in cl.values()],
In [54]:
# Plot degree-closeness 
xdata = dc.values()
ydata = cl.values()
plt.figure(1, figsize=(7,7))
plt.plot(xdata,ydata, '+')
plt.xlabel('Degree Centrality')
plt.ylabel('Closeness Centrality')
<matplotlib.text.Text at 0xc468710>
In [81]:
# Not Clear. Lets add node ids:
fig = plt.figure(1, figsize=(14,7))
ax1 = fig.add_subplot(121)
ax2 = fig.add_subplot(122)

for v in xrange(len(dc)):
   ax1.text(x = xdata[v], y = ydata[v], s=str(v))
ax1.set_xlim(0, 0.6)
ax1.set_ylim(0.25, 0.6)
ax1.set_xlabel('Degree Centrality')
ax1.set_ylabel('Closeness Centrality')

ax2 = nx.draw_networkx(G, pos)