The concept of k-pathLaplacian matrix of a graph is motivated and introduced. The pathLaplacian matrices are a natural generalization of the combinatorial Laplacian of a graph. They are defined by using path matrices accounting for the existence of shortest paths of length k between two nodes. This new concept is motivated by the problem of determining whether every node of a graph can be visited by means of a process consisting of hopping from one node to another separated at distance k from it. The problem is solved by using the multiplicity of the trivial eigenvalue of the corresponding k-pathLaplacian matrix. We apply these matrices to the analysis of the consensus among agents in a networked system. We show how the consensus in different types of network topologies is accelerated by considering not only nearest neighbors but also the influence of long-range interacting ones. Further applications of pathLaplacian matrices in a variety of other fields, e.g., synchronization, flocking, Markov chains, etc., will open a new avenue in algebraic graph theory.
- graph theory
- path matrices
- laplacian matrix
Estrada, E. (2012). Path Laplacian matrices: introduction and application to the analysis of consensus in networks. Linear Algebra and its Applications, 436(9), 3373-3391. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.laa.2011.11.032