The degree ratio ranking method for directed graphs

René van den Brink*, Agnieszka Rusinowska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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One of the most famous ranking methods for digraphs is the ranking by Copeland score. The Copeland score of a node in a digraph is the difference between its outdegree (i.e. its number of outgoing arcs) and its indegree (i.e. its number of ingoing arcs). In the ranking by Copeland score, a node is ranked higher, the higher is its Copeland score. In this paper, we deal with an alternative method to rank nodes according to their out- and indegree, namely ranking the nodes according to their degree ratio, i.e. the outdegree divided by the indegree. To avoid dividing by zero, we add 1 to both the out- as well as indegree of every node. We provide an axiomatization of the ranking by degree ratio using a clone property, which says that the entrance of a clone or a copy (i.e. a node that is in some sense similar to the original node) does not change the ranking among the original nodes. We also provide a new axiomatization of the ranking by Copeland score using the same axioms except that this method satisfies a different clone property. Finally, we modify the ranking by degree ratio by taking only the out- and indegree, but by definition assume nodes with indegree zero to be ranked higher than nodes with positive indegree. We provide an axiomatization of this ranking method using yet another clone property and a maximal property. In this way, we can compare the three ranking methods by their clone property.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-575
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2021


  • Copeland score
  • Degree ratio
  • Directed graph
  • Group decisions and negotiations
  • Ranking method


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