Towards a Methodology for Validation of Centrality Measures in Complex NetworksReport as inadecuate

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Living systems are associated with Social networks — networks made up of nodes, some of which may be more important in various aspects as compared to others. While different quantitative measures labeled as -centralities- have previously been used in the network analysis community to find out influential nodes in a network, it is debatable how valid the centrality measures actually are. In other words, the research question that remains unanswered is: how exactly do these measures perform in the real world? So, as an example, if a centrality of a particular node identifies it to be important, is the node actually important?


The goal of this paper is not just to perform a traditional social network analysis but rather to evaluate different centrality measures by conducting an empirical study analyzing exactly how do network centralities correlate with data from published multidisciplinary network data sets.


We take standard published network data sets while using a random network to establish a baseline. These data sets included the Zachary-s Karate Club network, dolphin social network and a neural network of nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Each of the data sets was analyzed in terms of different centrality measures and compared with existing knowledge from associated published articles to review the role of each centrality measure in the determination of influential nodes.


Our empirical analysis demonstrates that in the chosen network data sets, nodes which had a high Closeness Centrality also had a high Eccentricity Centrality. Likewise high Degree Centrality also correlated closely with a high Eigenvector Centrality. Whereas Betweenness Centrality varied according to network topology and did not demonstrate any noticeable pattern. In terms of identification of key nodes, we discovered that as compared with other centrality measures, Eigenvector and Eccentricity Centralities were better able to identify important nodes.

Author: Komal Batool , Muaz A. Niazi



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