Identifying sets of key players in a social network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

820 Scopus citations


A procedure is described for finding sets of key players in a social network. A key assumption is that the optimal selection of key players depends on what they are needed for. Accordingly, two generic goals are articulated, called KPP-POS and KPP-NEG. KPP-POS is defined as the identification of key players for the purpose of optimally diffusing something through the network by using the key players as seeds. KPP-NEG is defined as the identification of key players for the purpose of disrupting or fragmenting the network by removing the key nodes. It is found that off-the-shelf centrality measures are not optimal for solving either generic problem, and therefore new measures are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalComputational and Mathematical Organization Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This research is supported by Office of Naval Research grant number N000140211032. Thanks to Scott Clair for leading me to this problem, Mark Newman for suggesting reciprocal distances, Kathleen Carley for useful discussions, and Valdis Krebs for providing illustrative data.


  • Centrality
  • Cohesion
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying sets of key players in a social network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this