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Notes on Mathematics of Networks

Eric Peña
December 19, 2017

Adjacency Matrix
Graphs may be represented in the form of a matrix. Main types of graphs
that may be represented are:

• Simple Graph

• Multigraph

• Directed Graph

• Weighted Graph

• Bipartite Graph

Directed Graph
Directed graphs are graphs that contain edges with direction. Vertices may
have inward and outward edges.
Unlike adjacency matricies for simped graphs, adjacency matricies for
directed graphs are non-symmetric. Elements of an adjacency matrix for a
directed graph may be denoted as:


which represents an edge from vertex j to i.

Figure 1.0 Directed Graph with four vertices

The corresponding adjacency matrix for the graph above is:

 
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
A= 1 1

0 0
1 1 0 0

The cocitation of two vertices i and j in a directed network is the number of
vertices that have outgoing edges pointing to both i and j. We can see that:

Aik Ajk = 1

if i and j are both cited by k. If we sum over all these elements we get the
following relation:
X n
Cij = Aik Ajk = Aik ATkj = AAT
k=1 k=1

This is a cocitation network for which there is an edge between i and j if

Cij > 0, for i 6= j.

The diagonal elements of the cocitation matrix are given by:
X n
Cii = A2ik = Aik
k=1 k=1

In constructing the cocitation network we ignore these diagonal elements,

meaning that the network’s adjacency matrix is equal to the cocitation matrix
but with all the diagonal elements set to zero.

Bibliographic Coupling
Cocitation and Bibliographic coupling are similar mathematically but give
different results. They’re both affected by the number of in and out edges.
Bibliographic Coupling of two vertices are the number of other vertices to
which both i and j point to. Bibliographic Coupling is general more stable
since the number of citations can vary with time. Bibliographic Coupling is
known at time of publishing and doesn’t change at all. This may or may
not be a good thing depending on the situation. Mathematically, it can be
described by the following:
X n
Bij = Aki Akj = ATik Akj = AT A
k=1 k=1

The diagonal elements of B are:

X n
Bii = A2ki = Aki
k=1 k=1

Bii is equal to the number of other vertices that vertex i points to - the
number of papers i cites.

Figure 1.1 Shows cocitation and bibliographic coupling network comparison

Networks with link that join more than two vertices are called hypergraphs.
These types of graphs are useful when representing family relations for ex-
ample. Edges that relate more than two vertices are called hyperedges. In
sociology, these networks may be called affiliation networks.

Bipartite Networks
Hypergraphs may be difficult to deal with and represent mathematically but
a tool that can help are bipartite graphs - a way of conveniently represent-
ing the hypergraph structure. In sociology, this may be called: two-mode
networks. Edges only exist between two vertices of unlike-types.
The adjacency matrix for a bipartite graph is a rectangular matrix called
an incidence matrix which is a g by n matrix where g is the number of groups
and n are the number of members in the groups.
1, if vertex j belongs to group i
Bij =
0, otherwise

Figure 1.2 Bipartite Graph

The adjancency matrix for the bipartite graph above can be written as a
4 by 5 matrix:
 
1 0 0 1 0
1 1 1 1 0 
B= 0 1 1 0 1 

0 0 1 1 1
This is a much easier way of representing the hypergraph of actors to
movies for example. For much info, read section 6.6 (p.125) of Networks -
An Introduction (Newman).
The bipartite graph can be broken down even further by making two
one-mode projections. One projection can be made with the groups side and
another can be made with members side. These projects have the benefit
of being simpler to study but are less powerful because information is lost
through these projections.

The two one-mode projections in words are:

• The number of groups for which members i and j are both a part of.
This is an n x n matrix:
P = BT B

• The number of common members of groups i and j. This is a g x g

P 0 = BB T

Quick Thought
Naturally you want to relate this to cociation and bibliographic coupling
networks but it may be confusing to do so. The main difference between
cocitation and bibliographic coupling is the direction of the arrows. This
bipartite network consists of two different types of nodes and un-directed
edges. Therefore, you may have some cyclic thinking if you try to relate
them too much. Although The first projection (the one on the members) is
similar to the cocitation network in that the diagonals should be ignored and
forced to be zero.

Information Loss
Although these projections make life a little easier, it does come at a cost:
loss of information. Some of the things we loose are the number of groups
in the network and the exact membership of each group. If we make the
projection weighted graphs, we can at least get information as to how many
commons groups a pair of vertices share for example.

A tree is a connected, undirected network that contains no closed loops. Con-
nected means that every vertex in the network is reachable from every other
via some path through the network. A network can also consists of two or
more parts. If the individual parts of the network are trees, the then network
as a whole is considered a forest. There are leaves on a tree - vertices with
one edge on them but topologically, there isn’t really a root.

The most important property of a tree is that, since there are no closed
loops, there is only one path between any pair of vertices. In a forest, there

is at most one path but there may be none.

Another very useful property of trees is that a tree of n vertices always has
n − 1 edges. The reverse is also true: any connected network with n vertices
and n − 1 edges is a tree. If such a network were not a tree then there must
be a loop in the network somewhere, implying that we could remove an edge
without disconnecting any part of the network.

Planar Network
Simply put, a planar network is a network that can be drawn on a plane
without having any edges cross. All trees are planar but most of the time,
network are not planar (e.g., citation networks, metabolic networks, inter-
net, etc.). Some networks are forced to be planar because of physics space
constraints such as rivers or road networks.
These types of networks play an important role in the four-color theorem
which state that the number of colors required to color a graph in this way
is called the chromatic number of the graph and many mathematical results
are known about chromatic numbers.
An important to point out is that there is a method of determining if
a network is planar. It’s fairly easy to tell by observation if the network is
small but when the network is very large, a general method is required.
Kuratowski’s Theorem: Every non-planar network contains a least one
subgraph that is an expansion of K5 and U G. (Read more about this on p.
132 of Networks - an Introduction (Newman)).

Mean Degree
We will denote the degree of vertex i by ki . For an undirected graph of n
vertices the degree can be written in terms of the adjacency matrix as:
ki = Aij

Every edge in an undirected graph has two ends and if there are m edges
in total then there are 2m ends of edges. But the number of ends of edges is
also equal to the sum of the degrees of all the vertices, so
2m = ki

Another way of writing this that is more intuitive is:

n n
1X 1X
m= ki = Aij
2 i=1 2 ij

The mean degree c of an undirected graph is:

c= ki
n i=1

And combining this with the earlier equation:


The maximum possible number of edges in a simple graph is n2 = 12 n(n−1).

The connectance or density ρ of a graph is the fraction of these edges that

are actually present:
m 2m c
ρ= n =
n(n − 1) n−1

When the network is sufficiently large, ρ may be approximated with just nc .

A network where ρ tends to a constant as n → ∞ is said to be dense.

A network in which ρ → 0 as n → ∞ is said to be sparse.

Directed Network Degree

Vertex degrees in a directed network are more complicated. They are broken
up into in-degree and out-degree. If Aij is the adjacency matrix of a directed

network, the in and out degree can be written as:
X n
kiin = Aij , kjout = Aij
j=1 i=1

We also know the number of edges are:

X n
m= kiin = kjout = Aij
i=1 j=1 ij

As far as the mean degree of directed networks:

n n
1 X in 1 X out
cin = ki = k = cout
n i=1 n j=1 j

Combining these two relations, the mean degree can concisely be written

A path along a network is a route across the network moving from vertex
to vertex along the edges. In a directed network, the path can on go in the
direction of the edge but can go either way for an undirected network. A
path may reach a vertex or go along an edge it has seen before. A path that
does not intersect itself is considered a self-avoiding path. Geodesic paths
and Hamiltonian paths are two special cases of self-avoiding paths.
The number of paths of length r may be important to study and can be
calculated for directed and undirected networks. We will use the fact that
for directed and undirected networks, Aij is 1 if there is an edge from vertex
j to vertex i, and 0 otherwise. We can start by asking how many paths of
length 2 are there in a network. Imagine we want to study all paths of length
2 from j to i via k. The product Aik Akj is 1 where there is a path of length
2 from j to i via k, and 0 otherwise.
Aik Akj = A2 ij
Nij =

We can study the path of length 3 as well. The product Aik Akl Alj is 1
where there exists a path of length 3, and 0 otherwise.
Aik Akl Alj = A3 ij
Nij =

Generalizing to any length r gives:

Nijr = [Ar ]ij
There is a proof of induction on page 137 of Network - An Introduction

Another important thing to consider are loops in a network. The number of

loops may be calculated as well.
Lr = [Ar ]ii = T rAr

There ’Tr’ is the trace of a matrix. The number of loops can be written
in terms of the eigenvalues of the adjacency matrix as well. The adjacency
matrix can be written as A = U KU T where U is the orthogonal matrix of
eigenvectors and K is the orthogonal matrix of eigenvalues:
Ar = (U KU T )r = U K r U T

Lr = T r(U K r U T ) = T r(U T U K r ) = T r(k r ) = kir

Where ki is the ith eigenvalue of the adjacency matrix. This applies to

directed and undirected graphs. There is one important thing to note when
learning about counting the number of loops on length r. For each consid-
eration below, the calculation for determining the number of loops uses the
following criteria for counting distinct loops.
• Although there are loop paths that have the same vertices and same
order, if there are different starting points, then they are considered
separate loops.
1 → 2 → 3 → 1 and 2 → 3 → 2 → 1

• If loops are in the opposite direction, they are counted as distinct loops.

1 → 2 → 3 → 1 and 1 → 3 → 2 → 1

Geodesic Paths
A geodesic path is shortest network distance between vertices in question.
This is also called geodesic distance or shortest distance. Mathematically,
a geodesic distance is the smallest value of r such that [Ar ]ij > 0 between
vertices i and j.
It may be the case that no shortest distance exists (for example: for
separate components of the network where the distance may be said to be
infinity). Another interesting fact - If a path intesects itself, it has a loop and
therefore cannot be a geodesic path since it can be shortened by removing
this loop.
The diameter of a graph is the length of the longest geodesic path between
any pair of vertices in the network for which a path actually exists.

Eulerian and Hamiltonian Paths

• Eulerian Path: a path that traverses each edge in the network exactly

• Hamiltonian Path: a path that visits each vertex exactly once

If there are any vertex degree greater than 2, then the Eulerian path is not
self-avoiding since it has to visit vertices more than once in order to traverse
tall their edges.

Kronigsberg Bridges
This problem becomes finding an Eulerian path on this network of bridges
and the name is in honor of Euler who presented this problem. Euler observed
that since any Eulerian path must both enter and leave every vertex it passes
(except for the first and last), there can at most be two vertices with odd
degree. All four of the vertices in the Kronigsberg Problem has odd degree.
More precisely, there can only be 2 or 0 vertices of odd degree for an Eulerian

condition to be possible. With this logic, Euler proved the Kronigsberg
problem has no solution.