Non-backtracking PageRank

Francesca Arrigo, Desmond J. Higham, Vanni Noferini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


The PageRank algorithm, which has been "bringing order to the web" for more than 20 years, computes the steady state of a classical random walk plus teleporting. Here we consider a variation of PageRank that uses a non-backtracking random walk. To do this, we first reformulate PageRank in terms of the associated line graph. A non-backtracking analog then emerges naturally. Comparing the resulting steady states, we find that, even for undirected graphs, non-backtracking generally leads to a different ranking of the nodes. We then focus on computational issues, deriving an explicit representation of the new algorithm that can exploit structure and sparsity in the underlying network. Finally, we assess effectiveness and efficiency of this approach on some real-world networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1437
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Scientific Computing
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019


  • PageRank
  • non-backtracking
  • complex networks
  • centrality


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