Temporal node centrality in complex networks

Hyoungshick Kim, Ross Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many networks are dynamic in that their topology changes rapidly—on the same time scale as the communications of interest between network nodes. Examples are the human contact networks involved in the transmission of disease, ad hoc radio networks between moving vehicles, and the transactions between principals in a market. While we have good models of static networks, so far these have been lacking for the dynamic case. In this paper we present a simple but powerful model, the time-ordered graph, which reduces a dynamic network to a static network with directed flows. This enables us to extend network properties such as vertex degree, closeness, and betweenness centrality metrics in a very natural way to the dynamic case. We then demonstrate how our model applies to a number of interesting edge cases, such as where the network connectivity depends on a small number of highly mobile vertices or edges, and show that our centrality definition allows us to track the evolution of connectivity. Finally we apply our model and techniques to two real-world dynamic graphs of human contact networks and then discuss the implication of temporal centrality metrics in the real world.
Original languageEnglish
Article number026107
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2012


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