Stratified communities in complex business networks

Roy Cerqueti, Gian Paolo Clemente, Rosanna Grassi

This paper presents a new definition of the community structure of a network, which takes also into account how communities are stratified. In particular, we extend the standard concept of clustering coefficient and provide the local $l$-adjacency clustering coefficient of a node $i$. We define it as an opportunely weighted mean of the clustering coefficients of nodes which are at distance $l$ from $i$. The stratus of the community associated to node $i$ is identified by the distance $l$ from $i$, so that the standard clustering coefficient is a peculiar local $l$-adjacency clustering coefficient at stratus $l=0$. As the distance $l$ varies, the local $l$-adjacency clustering coefficient is then used to infer insights on the community structure of the entire network. Empirical experiments on special business networks are carried out. In particular, the analysis of air traffic networks validate the theoretical proposal and provide supporting arguments on its usefulness.

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