Understanding and Designing Network Measures

  • Katharina A. ZweigEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Social Networks book series (LNSN)


The goal of any network representation of complex relational data is to apply measures to the resulting graph whose results can then be used to identify significant patterns in the data. While many software tools make these methods readily available to apply them to any given graph, it is important to understand the mathematical equations computed in the function to decide whether the measure is meaningful for a given research question. In this chapter, I first discuss why it is important to learn some formal language to understand what a measure really does. There is a list of questions that can be routinely used to understand a measure’s applicability which is then discussed in detail. The same questions are also guidelines to design a new measure that specifically matches a given research question as required in the trilemma of complex network. The chapter closes with a thorough discussion of some measures from literature.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TU Kaiserslautern, FB Computer ScienceGraph Theory and Analysis of Complex NetworksKaiserslauternGermany

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