Journal Article On the robustness of centrality measures against link weight quantization in social networks

Tsugawa, Sho  ,  Matsumoto, Yukihiro  ,  Ohsaki, Hiroyuki

21 ( 3 )  , pp.318 - 339 , 2015-09 , Springer US
In social network analysis, individuals are represented as nodes in a graph, social ties among them are represented as links, and the strength of the social ties can be expressed as link weights. However, in social network analyses where the strength of a social tie is expressed as a link weight, the link weight may be quantized to take only a few discrete values. In this paper, expressing a continuous value of social tie strength as a few discrete value is referred to as link weight quantization, and we study the effects of link weight quantization on centrality measures through simulations and experiments utilizing network generation models that generate synthetic social networks and real social network datasets. Our results show that (1) the effects of link weight quantization on the centrality measures are not significant when determining the most important node in a graph, (2) conversely, a 5–8 quantization level is needed to determine other important nodes, and (3) graphs with a highly skewed degree distribution or with a high correlation between node degree and link weights are robust against link weight quantization.

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