Detecting hyperbolic geometry in networks: Why triangles are not enough

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In the past decade, geometric network models have received vast attention in the literature. These models formalize the natural idea that similar vertices are likely to connect. Because of that, these models are able to adequately capture many common structural properties of real-world networks, such as scale invariance and high clustering. Indeed, many real-world networks can be accurately modeled by positioning vertices of a network graph in hyperbolic spaces. Nevertheless, if one observes only the network connections, the presence of geometry is not always evident. Currently, triangle counts and clustering coefficients are the standard statistics to signal the presence of geometry. In this paper we show that triangle counts or clustering coefficients are insufficient because they fail to detect geometry induced by hyperbolic spaces. We, therefore, introduce a differerent statistic, weighted triangles, which weighs triangles based on their evidence for geometry. We show analytically, as well as on synthetic and real-world data, that weighted triangles are a powerful statistic to detect hyperbolic geometry in networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054303
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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