Measure of Node Similarity in Multilayer Networks

Anders Møllgaard, Ingo Zettler, Jesper Dammeyer, Mogens H. Jensen, Sune Lehmann Jørgensen, Joachim Mathiesen

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The weight of links in a network is often related to the similarity of thenodes. Here, we introduce a simple tunable measure for analysing the similarityof nodes across different link weights. In particular, we use the measure toanalyze homophily in a group of 659 freshman students at a large university.Our analysis is based on data obtained using smartphones equipped with customdata collection software, complemented by questionnaire-based data. The networkof social contacts is represented as a weighted multilayer network constructedfrom different channels of telecommunication as well as data on face-to-facecontacts. We find that even strongly connected individuals are not more similarwith respect to basic personality traits than randomly chosen pairs ofindividuals. In contrast, several socio-demographics variables have asignificant degree of similarity. We further observe that similarity might bepresent in one layer of the multilayer network and simultaneously be absent inthe other layers. For a variable such as gender, our measure reveals atransition from similarity between nodes connected with links of relatively lowweight to dis-similarity for the nodes connected by the strongest links. Wefinally analyze the overlap between layers in the network for different levelsof acquaintanceships.
Original languageEnglish
Article number e0157436
JournalP L o S One
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1-10
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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