Core-Periphery Structure in Networks

27 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2012 Last revised: 3 Apr 2013

See all articles by Michaela Puck Rombach

Michaela Puck Rombach

University of Oxford

Mason Alexander Porter

University of Oxford

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Peter J. Mucha

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Date Written: April 2, 2013

Abstract

Intermediate-scale (or `meso-scale') structures in networks have received considerable attention, as the algorithmic detection of such structures makes it possible to discover network features that are not apparent either at the local scale of nodes and edges or at the global scale of summary statistics. Numerous types of meso-scale structures can occur in networks, but investigations of such features have focused predominantly on the identification and study of community structure. In this paper, we develop a new method to investigate the meso-scale feature known as core-periphery structure, which entails identifying densely-connected core nodes and sparsely-connected periphery nodes. In contrast to communities, the nodes in a core are also reasonably well-connected to those in the periphery. Our new method of computing core-periphery structure can identify multiple cores in a network and takes different possible cores into account. We illustrate the differences between our method and several existing methods for identifying which nodes belong to a core, and we use our technique to examine core-periphery structure in examples of friendship, collaboration, transportation, and voting networks.

Keywords: networks, core-periphery structure, community structure, centrality

JEL Classification: C00

Suggested Citation

Rombach, Michaela Puck and Porter, Mason Alexander and Fowler, James H. and Mucha, Peter J., Core-Periphery Structure in Networks (April 2, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002684 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2002684

Michaela Puck Rombach (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Mason Alexander Porter

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health ( email )

La Jolla, CA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

Peter J. Mucha

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

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