Axiomatic Foundations of Centrality in Networks

37 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2009 Last revised: 23 Jul 2009

Date Written: June 23, 2009


The social and economic networks literature commonly uses different measures to capture various notions of centrality. Given the structural features of a network, there is limited consensus on how to select the appropriate centrality measure. This paper provides an axiomatic characterization of Degree, Closeness and Decay centrality measures and argues that such axiomatizations are the correct way to distinguish between centrality measures. Further, I show that these centrality measures belong to the same family of measures. This result shows why they have been found to be correlated in empirical work.

Keywords: Networks, Centrality Measures, Axiomatization

JEL Classification: D85, Z13

Suggested Citation

Garg, Manuj, Axiomatic Foundations of Centrality in Networks (June 23, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Manuj Garg (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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