A surprising finding when analysing airport networks is the importance of Anchorage airport in Alaska. In fact, it is the most central airport in the network when applying betweenness! I do not believe this finding is completely accurate due to two reasons: (1) there is a potential for measurement error when not including tie weights (i.e., assigning the same importance to the connection between London Heathrow and New York’s JFK as to the connection between Pack Creek Airport and Sitka Harbor Sea Plane Base in Alaska), and (2) relying on US data only leads to sample selection as the airport network is a global system. This post highlights how to use a weighted betweenness measure as well as the extent of the sample selection issue.
A paper called “Node centrality in weighted networks: Generalizing degree and shortest paths” that I have co-authored will be published in Social Networks. Ties often have a strength naturally associated with them that differentiate them from each other. Tie strength has been operationalized as weights. A few network measures have been proposed for weighted networks, including three common measures of node centrality: degree, closeness, and betweenness. However, these generalizations have solely focused on tie weights, and not on the number of ties, which was the central component of the original measures. This paper proposes generalizations that combine both these aspects. We illustrate the benefits of this approach by applying one of them to Freeman’s EIES dataset.
A key node centrality measure in networks is closeness centrality (Freeman, 1978; Wasserman and Faust, 1994). It is defined as the inverse of farness, which in turn, is the sum of distances to all other nodes. As the distance between nodes in disconnected components of a network is infinite, this measure cannot be applied to networks with disconnected components (Opsahl et al., 2010; Wasserman and Faust, 1994). This post highlights a possible work-around, which allows the measure to be applied to these networks and at the same time maintain the original idea behind the measure.
This post explores the relationship between node degree and node strength in an online social network. In the online social network, heterogeneity in nodes’ average tie weight across different levels of degree had been reported. Although degree and average tie weight are significantly correlated, this post argues for the similarity of degree and node strength. In particular, high pair-wise correlation between degree and strength is found. In addition, power-law exponents of degree distributions and strength distribution are reported. The exponents are strikingly similar, in fact, they are almost identical.
tnet is a package written in R that can calculate weighted social network measures. Almost all of the ideas posted on this blog are related to weighted networks as, I believe, taking into consideration tie weights enables us to uncover and study interesting network properties. Not only are few social network measures applicable to weighted networks, but there is also a lack of software programmes that can analyse this type of networks. In fact, there are no open-source programmes. This hinders the use and development of weighted measures. tnet represents a first step towards creating such a programme. Through this platform, weighted network measures can easily be applied, and new measures easily implemented and distributed.
The content of this post has been integrated in the tnet manual, see Software.
I have now completed my Ph.D. at the School of Business and Management of Queen Mary College, University of London. My Ph.D. programme was defined around a number of projects, which drew on, and extended, recent theoretical and methodological advances in network science. The projects that were concerned with weighted networks and longitudinal networks were outlined and critically discussed in my thesis (Structure and Evolution of Weighted Networks). The entire thesis, except Appendix C which is outdated, is available on the Publication > Thesis-page.
The theme of this thesis is interdependence among elements. In fact, this thesis is not just a product of myself, but also of my interdependence with others. Without the support of a number of people, it would not have been possible to write. It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to express my gratitude to many of them here.
For my academic achievements, I would like to acknowledge the constant support from my supervisors. In particular, I thank Pietro Panzarasa for taking an active part of all the projects I have worked on. I have also had the pleasure to collaborate with people other than my supervisors. I worked with Vittoria Colizza and Jose J. Ramasco on the analysis and method presented in Chapter 2, Kathleen M. Carley on an empirical analysis of the online social network used throughout this thesis, and Martha J. Prevezer on a project related to knowledge transfer in emerging countries. In addition to these direct collaborations, I would also like to thank Filip Agneessens, Sinan Aral, Steve Borgatti, Ronald Burt, Mauro Faccioni Filho, Thomas Friemel, John Skvoretz, and Vanina Torlo for encouragement and helpful advice. In particular, I would like to thank Tom A. B. Snijders and Klaus Nielsen for insightful reading of this thesis and many productive remarks and suggestions. I have also received feedback on my work at a number of conferences and workshops. I would like to express my gratitude to the participants at these.
On a social note, I would like to thank John, Claudius, and my family for their continuing support. Without them I would have lost focus. My peers and the administrative staff have also been a great source of support. In particular, I would like to extend my acknowledgements to Mariusz Jarmuzek, Geraldine Marks, Roland Miller, Jenny Murphy, Cathrine Seierstad, Lorna Soar, Steven Telford, and Eshref Trushin.