# Network Centrality Measures and Their Visualization

*Centrality* is a term to describe importance of individual nodes in a graph.
There has been a lot of research carried out in this topic for network analysis
to answer the question,
“Which are the most important nodes (vertices) in a graph?”
Here is the list of different metrics to find it, which I would like to discuss:

- Degree Centrality
- Eigenvector Centrality
- Katz Centrality
- PageRank
- HITS Hubs and Authorities
- Closeness Centrality
- Betweenness Centrality

I will be using NetworkX Python (v1.11) library along with Matplotlib (v2.0.0).

First, we are defining a simple method to draw the graph and the centrality metrics of nodes with a heat map.

Zachary’s Karate Club graph is defined as the example graph `G`

.
It is basically a social network of members of an university karate club,
where undirected edges connects people who interact outside the club.

We also need a directed graph to demonstrate some other centrality measures.
Here we are defining the toy directed graph `DiG`

which is given as an example
in wikipedia.

## Degree Centrality

*Degree* of a node is basically number of edges that it has.
The basic intuition is that, nodes with more connections are
more influential and important in a network.
In other words, the person with higher friend count in a social network,
the more cited paper (*in-degree*) in a scientific citation network
is the one that is more central according to this metric.

For directed graphs, *in-degree*, number of incoming points, is considered as
importance factor for nodes.

## Eigenvector Centrality

*Eigenvector centrality* is a basic extension of *degree centrality*,
which defines centrality of a node as proportional to its neighbors’ importance.
When we sum up all connections of a node, not all neighbors are equally
important.
Let’s consider two nodes in a friend network with same degree,
the one who is connected to more central nodes should be more central.

First, we define an initial guess for the centrality of nodes in a graph as . Now we are going to iterate for the new centrality value for node as following:

Here is an element of *the adjacency matrix*,
where it gives or for whether an edge exists between nodes and
.
it can also be written in matrix notation as .
We iterate over t steps to find the vector as:

The drawing also shows, the nodes which have the same number of connections are
not necessarily in the same heat map color.
The one that is connected to more central nodes are more *hot* in this
visualization.

However, as we can see from the definition,
it is a problematic measure for directed graphs.
Let’s say that a new research paper is published and it references a handful of
existing papers.
It would not contribute to any of those referenced papers in this citation
network
because it is not cited by any other papers and has zero *eigenvector
centrality*.
In other words, *eigenvector centrality* would not take zero *in-degree* nodes
into account
in directed graphs such as citation networks.

Here the contribution from zero *in-degree* nodes is zero; consequently, all
values are zero except two nodes which are referencing each other.

## Katz Centrality

*Katz centrality* introduces two positive constants and
to tackle the problem of *eigenvector centrality* with zero in-degree nodes:

again is an element of *the adjacency matrix*,
and it can also be written in matrix notation as .
This constant gives a *free* centrality contribution for all nodes
even though they don’t get any contribution from other nodes.
The existence of a node alone would provide it some importance.
constant determines the balances between the contribution from other
nodes and the *free* constant.

Although this method is introduced as a solution for directed graphs, it can be useful for some applications of undirected graphs as well.

## PageRank

PageRank was introduced by the founders of Google to rank websites in search
results.
It can be considered as an extension of *Katz centrality*.
The websites on the web can be modeled as a directed graph,
where hypermedia links between websites determines the edges.
Let’s consider a popular web directory website with high *Katz centrality* value
which has millions of links to other websites.
It would contribute to every single website significantly, nevertheless not all
of them are important.
To overcome that issue, contribution value is divided by *out-degree* of the
node:

where for zero out-degree nodes to avoid division by zero. It can also be written in matrix terms as:

where is a diagonal matrix with elements .

As the drawing demonstrates, the nodes with fewer *out-degree* contributes way
more to each node compared the *Katz Centrality*. Here the node at the top right
gets only reference of a very important node, and it becomes way more important
compared to the *Katz Centrality*; on the other hand, the node in the center
which gets contribution from high *out-degree* nodes loses its importance.

## HITS Hubs and Authorities

Up until this point, we have discussed the measures that captures high node
centrality, however, there can be nodes in the network which are important for
the network, but they are not central. In particular, let’s consider a survey
(review) article in a scientific citation network. The article itself is not
necessarily stating a new discovery and it is not central; but nevertheless it
is a helpful material to acquire knowledge on a topic because it captures a lot
of central research articles. In order to find out such nodes, HITS algorithm
introduces two types of central nodes: *Hubs* and *Authorities*. *Authorities*
are the one that most cited by *Hubs* and *Hubs* are the one that citing the
most high *Authority* nodes.

*Authority Centrality* is defined as the sum of the hub centralities which point
to the node :

where is constant. Likewise, *Hub Centrality* is the sum of the
authorities which are pointed by the node :

with constant . Here notice that the element of the adjacency matrix are
swapped for *Hub Centrality* because we are concerned with outgoing edges for
hubs. So in matrix notation:

As it can be seen from the drawing, HITS Algorithm also tackles the problem with
zero *in-degree* nodes of *Eigenvector Centrality*. These zero *in-degree* nodes
become central hubs and contribute to other nodes. Yet we can still use a *free*
centrality contribution constant like in *Katz Centrality* or other variants.

## Closeness Centrality

*Closeness Centrality* is a self-explanatory measure where each node’s
importance is determined by closeness to all other nodes. Let be the
length of the shortest path between nodes and , the average distance
is such as:

Since we are looking for the closer node, the *Closeness Centrality* is
inverse proportional to average length , so:

Here we are using an *unweighted* graph and all edges have weight distance
cost for calculating shortest path length . This measure can be used to
determine the central distribution point in a delivery network.

## Betweenness Centrality

*Betweenness Centrality* is another centrality that is based on shortest path
between nodes. It is determined as number of the shortest paths passing by the
given node. For starting node , destination node and the input node
that holds , let be 1 if node lies on the shortest
path between and ; and if not. So the *betweenness centrality* is
defined as:

However, there can be more than one shortest path between and and that will count for centrality measure more than once. Thus, we need to divide the contribution to , total number of shortest paths between and .

**References and further reading**

- Newman, Mark.
*Networks: An Introduction*(pp. 168-234, Chapter 7: Measures and Metrics)., Oxford University Press, 2010. - Zachary, Wayne W.
*An Information Flow Model for Conflict and Fission in Small Groups*., 1977.