Predicting nodal influence via local iterative metrics

Shilun Zhang, Alan Hanjalic, Huijuan Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Nodal spreading influence is the capability of a node to activate the rest of the network when it is the seed of spreading. Combining nodal properties (centrality metrics) derived from local and global topological information respectively has been shown to better predict nodal influence than using a single metric. In this work, we investigate to what extent local and global topological information around a node contributes to the prediction of nodal influence and whether relatively local information is sufficient for the prediction. We show that by leveraging the iterative process used to derive a classical nodal centrality such as eigenvector centrality, we can define an iterative metric set that progressively incorporates more global information around the node. We propose to predict nodal influence using an iterative metric set that consists of an iterative metric from order 1 to K produced in an iterative process, encoding gradually more global information as K increases. Three iterative metrics are considered, which converge to three classical node centrality metrics, respectively. In various real-world networks and synthetic networks with community structures, we find that the prediction quality of each iterative based model converges to its optimal when the metric of relatively low orders (K∼4) are included and increases only marginally when further increasing K. This fast convergence of prediction quality with K is further explained by analyzing the correlation between the iterative metric and nodal influence, the convergence rate of each iterative process and network properties. The prediction quality of the best performing iterative metric set with K=4 is comparable with the benchmark method that combines seven centrality metrics: their prediction quality ratio is within the range [91%,106%] across all three quality measures and networks. In two spatially embedded networks with an extremely large diameter, however, iterative metric of higher orders, thus a large K, is needed to achieve comparable prediction quality with the benchmark.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4929
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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