Networks containing negative ties

Martin G. Everett, Stephen P. Borgatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Social network analysts have often collected data on negative relations such as dislike, avoidance, and conflict. Most often, the ties are analyzed in such a way that the fact that they are negative is of no consequence. For example, they have often been used in blockmodeling analyses where many different kinds of ties are used together and all ties are treated the same, regardless of meaning. However, sometimes we may wish to apply other network analysis concepts, such as centrality or cohesive subgroups. The question arises whether all extant techniques are applicable to negative tie data. In this paper, we consider in a systematic way which standard techniques are applicable to negative ties and what changes in interpretation have to be made because of the nature of the ties. We also introduce some new techniques specifically designed for negative ties. Finally we show how one of these techniques for centrality can be extended to networks with both positive and negative ties to give a new centrality measure (PN centrality) that is applicable to directed valued data with both positive and negative ties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Centrality
  • Cohesive subgroups
  • Graph complement
  • Negative ties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Psychology (all)


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