This vignette describes the concept of neighborhood-inclusion, its
connection with network centrality and gives some example use cases with
the `netrankr`

package. The partial ranking induced by
neighborhood-inclusion can be used to assess partial centrality or compute probabilistic centrality.

In an undirected graph \(G=(V,E)\),
the *neighborhood* of a node \(u \in
V\) is defined as \[N(u)=\lbrace w :
\lbrace u,w \rbrace \in E \rbrace\] and its *closed
neighborhood* as \(N[v]=N(v) \cup \lbrace
v \rbrace\). If the neighborhood of a node \(u\) is a subset of the closed neighborhood
of a node \(v\), \(N(u)\subseteq N[v]\), we speak of
*neighborhood inclusion*. This concept defines a dominance
relation among nodes in a network. We say that \(u\) is *dominated* by \(v\) if \(N(u)\subseteq N[v]\).
Neighborhood-inclusion induces a partial ranking on the vertices of a
network. That is, (usually) some (if not most!) pairs of vertices are
incomparable, such that neither \(N(u)\subseteq N[v]\) nor \(N(v)\subseteq N[u]\) holds. There is,
however, a special graph class where all pairs are comparable (found in
this vignette).

The importance of neighborhood-inclusion is given by the following result:

\[ N(u)\subseteq N[v] \implies c(u)\leq c(v), \] where \(c\) is a centrality index defined on special path algebras. These include many of the well known measures like closeness (and variants), betweenness (and variants) as well as many walk-based indices (eigenvector and subgraph centrality, total communicability,…).

Very informally, if \(u\) is dominated by \(v\), then u is less central than \(v\) no matter which centrality index is used, that fulfill the requirement. While this is the key result, this short description leaves out many theoretical considerations. These and more can be found in

Schoch, David & Brandes, Ulrik. (2016). Re-conceptualizing centrality in social networks.

European Journal of Appplied Mathematics,27(6), 971–985. (link)

`netrankr`

PackageWe work with the following simple graph.

```
data("dbces11")
g <- dbces11
plot(g,
vertex.color="black",vertex.label.color="white", vertex.size=16,vertex.label.cex=0.75,
edge.color="black",
margin=0,asp=0.5)
```

```
## This graph was created by an old(er) igraph version.
## Call upgrade_graph() on it to use with the current igraph version
## For now we convert it on the fly...
```

We can compare neighborhoods manually with the
`neighborhood`

function of the `igraph`

package.
Note the `mindist`

parameter to distinguish between open and
closed neighborhood.

```
u <- 3
v <- 5
Nu <- neighborhood(g,order=1,nodes=u,mindist = 1)[[1]] #N(u)
Nv <- neighborhood(g,order=1,nodes=v,mindist = 0)[[1]] #N[v]
Nu
```

```
## + 2/11 vertices, named, from 013399c:
## [1] E K
```

```
## + 4/11 vertices, named, from 013399c:
## [1] E C I K
```

Although it is obvious that `Nu`

is a subset of
`Nv`

, we can verify it as follows.

`## [1] TRUE`

Checking all pairs of nodes can efficiently be done with the
`neighborhood_inclusion()`

function from the
`netrankr`

package.

```
## A B C D E F G H I J K
## A 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1
## B 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
## C 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
## D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
## E 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
## F 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
## G 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
## H 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
## I 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
## J 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
## K 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
```

If an entry `P[u,v]`

is equal to one, we have \(N(u)\subseteq N[v]\).

The function `dominance_graph()`

can alternatively be used
to visualize the neighborhood inclusion as a directed graph.

```
g.dom <- dominance_graph(P)
plot(g.dom,
vertex.color="black",vertex.label.color="white", vertex.size=16, vertex.label.cex=0.75,
edge.color="black", edge.arrow.size=0.5,margin=0,asp=0.5)
```

We start by calculating some standard measures of centrality found in
the `ìgraph`

package for our example network. Note that the
`netrankr`

package also implements a great variety of
indices, but they need further specifications described in this vignette.

```
cent.df <- data.frame(
vertex=1:11,
degree=degree(g),
betweenness=betweenness(g),
closeness=closeness(g),
eigenvector=eigen_centrality(g)$vector,
subgraph=subgraph_centrality(g)
)
#rounding for better readability
cent.df.rounded <- round(cent.df,4)
cent.df.rounded
```

```
## vertex degree betweenness closeness eigenvector subgraph
## A 1 1 0.0000 0.0370 0.2260 1.8251
## B 2 1 0.0000 0.0294 0.0646 1.5954
## C 3 2 0.0000 0.0400 0.3786 3.1486
## D 4 2 9.0000 0.0400 0.2415 2.4231
## E 5 3 3.8333 0.0500 0.5709 4.3871
## F 6 4 9.8333 0.0588 0.9847 7.8073
## G 7 4 2.6667 0.0526 1.0000 7.9394
## H 8 4 16.3333 0.0556 0.8386 6.6728
## I 9 4 7.3333 0.0556 0.9114 7.0327
## J 10 4 1.3333 0.0526 0.9986 8.2421
## K 11 5 14.6667 0.0556 0.8450 7.3896
```

Notice how for each centrality index, different vertices are
considered to be the most central node. The most central from degree to
subgraph centrality are \(11\), \(8\), \(6\), \(7\)
and \(10\). Note that only
*undominated* vertices can achieve the highest score for any
reasonable index. As soon as a vertex is dominated by at least one
other, it will always be ranked below the dominator. We can check for
undominated vertices simply by forming the row Sums in
`P`

.

```
## D E F G H I J K
## 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
```

8 nodes are undominated in the graph. It is thus entirely possible to find indices that would also rank \(4, 5\) and \(9\) on top.

Besides the top ranked nodes, we can check if the entire partial
ranking `P`

is preserved in each centrality ranking. If there
exists a pair \(u\) and \(v\) and index \(c()\) such that \(N(u)\subseteq N[v]\) but \(c(v)>c(u)\), we do not consider \(c\) to be a valid index.

In our example, we considered vertex \(3\) and \(5\), where \(3\) was dominated by \(5\). It is easy to verify that all
centrality scores of \(5\) are in fact
greater than the ones of \(3\) by
inspecting the respective rows in the table. To check all pairs, we use
the function `is_preserved`

. The function takes a partial
ranking, as induced by neighborhood inclusion, and a score vector of a
centrality index and checks if
`P[i,j]==1 & scores[i]>scores[j]`

is
`FALSE`

for all pairs `i`

and `j`

.

```
## degree betweenness closeness eigenvector subgraph
## TRUE TRUE TRUE TRUE TRUE
```

All considered indices preserve the neighborhood inclusion preorder on the example network.

*NOTE*: Preserving neighborhood inclusion on
**one** network does not guarantee that an index preserves
it on **all** networks. For more details refer to the paper
cited in the first section.