Weighted ego network for forming hierarchical structure of road networks

Hong Zhang, Zhilin Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Studies on the structural properties of road network and its close relationship with the traffic flow distribution have received intensive interdisciplinary attention. However, most of these attempts were theoretical. It is also a challenge to understand the relation-ship between the structure and morphology of a road network and peoples' movement. We developed a new methodology to deal with this challenge in this study. The first attempt was to apply the ego network analysis (which is rooted in social science) to the formation of hierarchical road networks. Then, the ego network was improved to become weighted ego network by assigning a weight to each of the links in a network. A measure called weighted average centrality rank is developed to define the order of links in a complex network. The ego network and the weighted ego network are both evaluated with a notional network and two sets of real-life road networks. Traffic flow data were used as a benchmark for the evaluation of the two approaches. The results show that they both perform well. But the hierarchies formed by weighted ego network analysis are more consistent with the real-life traffic flow, and the improvement is clearly observable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-272
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Ego network
  • Hierarchical structure
  • Road network
  • Weighted ego network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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