Edge Centrality via the Holevo Quantity

  • Joshua Lockhart
  • Giorgia Minello
  • Luca RossiEmail author
  • Simone Severini
  • Andrea Torsello
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10029)


In the study of complex networks, vertex centrality measures are used to identify the most important vertices within a graph. A related problem is that of measuring the centrality of an edge. In this paper, we propose a novel edge centrality index rooted in quantum information. More specifically, we measure the importance of an edge in terms of the contribution that it gives to the Von Neumann entropy of the graph. We show that this can be computed in terms of the Holevo quantity, a well known quantum information theoretical measure. While computing the Von Neumann entropy and hence the Holevo quantity requires computing the spectrum of the graph Laplacian, we show how to obtain a simplified measure through a quadratic approximation of the Shannon entropy. This in turns shows that the proposed centrality measure is strongly correlated with the negative degree centrality on the line graph. We evaluate our centrality measure through an extensive set of experiments on real-world as well as synthetic networks, and we compare it against commonly used alternative measures.


Edge centrality Complex networks Holevo quantity Quantum information 



Simone Severini was supported by the Royal Society and EPSRC.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua Lockhart
    • 1
  • Giorgia Minello
    • 2
  • Luca Rossi
    • 3
    Email author
  • Simone Severini
    • 1
  • Andrea Torsello
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.DAISUniversità Ca’ Foscari VeneziaVeniceItaly
  3. 3.School of Engineering and Applied ScienceAston UniversityBirminghamUK

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