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When computing Bonacich centrality with a negative beta, the resulting
scores can include both positive and negative values. This can occur
even when the magnitude of beta is less than 1/largest eigenvalue.
In past Socnet posts and in the existing literature, there seems to be
some disagreement about how to interpret the negative values. Some
suggest that negative values should be interpreted directly, as
reflecting lower centralities than the positive values. Others have
suggested that the +/- signs are not meaningful, and that one should
interpret only the scores' absolute value. In a 2008 Socnet post,
Martin Everett offered still a third suggestion: set the magnitude of
beta small enough that the measure does not produce any negative scores.
Which is the correct approach? Is there an authoritative published
reference for this issue?
Zachary Neal, Assistant Professor
Michigan State University
Department of Sociology & Global Urban Studies Program
316 Berkey Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
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