Abstract by Abigail Jenkins

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Abigail Jenkins

Degree Level


Abstract Infomation



Faculty Advisor

Ben Webb


A Network Study of Family Trees


The study of networks helps us understand the foundational relationships between individuals and groups. We study the relationships found within family trees using graph theory. Structurally what differentiates family networks from other networks is the fact that parents typically come from distinct family communities, meaning that connections form at larger distances than are typically observed in other networks where there is no such tendency. Aside from these "long distance connections" the parent child relationship leads to a locally tree-like structure, very atypical of real world networks. Quantifying the global and local community structure of family networks is challenging since most standard techniques for community detection are ill-posed on trees or tree-like networks. We attempt to analyze family networks to study how closely tied individuals are within the human family.