We provide a general framework for analyzing degree correlations between nodes separated by more than one step (i.e., beyond nearest neighbors) in complex networks. One joint and four conditional probability distributions are introduced to fully describe long-range degree correlations with respect to degrees k and k′ of two nodes and shortest path length l between them. We present general relations among these probability distributions and clarify the relevance to nearest-neighbor degree correlations. Unlike nearest-neighbor correlations, some of these probability distributions are meaningful only in finite-size networks. Furthermore, as a baseline to determine the existence of intrinsic long-range degree correlations in a network other than inevitable correlations caused by the finite-size effect, the functional forms of these probability distributions for random networks are analytically evaluated within a mean-field approximation. The utility of our argument is demonstrated by applying it to real-world networks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics