Cover by Carl D. Meyer, Amy N. Langville

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Chapter Six

The Sensitivity of PageRank

Psychologists say that a person’s sensitivities give insights into the personality. They say sensitivity to name-calling might indicate a maligned childhood. Sensitivity to injury, a pampered, spoiled upbringing; a short fuse with the boss, anger toward parents, and so on. It seems the same is true for the PageRank model. The sensitivities of the PageRank model reveal quite a bit about the popularity scores it produces. For example, when α gets very close to 1 (its upperbound), it seems to really get PageRank’s goat. In this chapter, we explain exactly how PageRank reacts to changes like this.

In fact, the ...

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