Ollivier-Ricci curvature convergence in random geometric graphs

Pim van der Hoorn, William J. Cunningham, Gabor Lippner, Carlo Trugenberger, and Dmitri Krioukov
Physics Review Research
Phys. Rev. Research 3, 013211 – Published 5 March 2021
March 5, 2021


Connections between continuous and discrete worlds tend to be elusive. One example is curvature. Even though there exist numerous nonequivalent definitions of graph curvature, none is known to converge in any limit to any traditional definition of curvature of a Riemannian manifold. Here we show that Ollivier curvature of random geometric graphs in any Riemannian manifold converges in the continuum limit to Ricci curvature of the underlying manifold, but only if the definition of Ollivier graph curvature is properly generalized to apply to mesoscopic graph neighborhoods. This result establishes a rigorous link between a definition of curvature applicable to networks and a traditional definition of curvature of smooth spaces.

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