A Survey on Optimization Studies of Group Centrality Metrics

Centrality metrics have become a popular concept in network science and optimization. Over the years, centrality has been used to assign importance and identify influential elements in various settings, including transportation, infrastructure, biological, and social networks, among others. That said, most of the literature has focused on nodal versions of centrality. Recently, group counterparts of centrality have started attracting scientific and practitioner interest. The identification of sets of nodes that are influential within a network is becoming increasingly more important. This is even more pronounced when these sets of nodes are required to induce a certain motif or structure. In this study, we review group centrality metrics from an operations research and optimization perspective for the first time. This is particularly interesting due to the rapid evolution and development of this area in the operations research community over the last decade. We first present a historical overview of how we have reached this point in the study of group centrality. We then discuss the different structures and motifs that appear prominently in the literature, alongside the techniques and methodologies that are popular. We finally present possible avenues and directions for future work, mainly in three areas: (i) probabilistic metrics to account for randomness along with stochastic optimization techniques; (ii) structures and relaxations that have not been yet studied; and (iii) new emerging applications that can take advantage of group centrality. Our survey offers a concise review of group centrality and its intersection with network analysis and optimization.



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