Approximating the Center of the Global Tree

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Elizabeth Tilley and her daughter

Mayflower passenger Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland (bef.1607-1687) was one of the featured profiles in the Connection Finder when the First Thanksgiving was honoured in November 2020. Her mean distance to all connected profiles at that time was 17.96 - so she does not beat Samuel Lothrop or Brigham Young, but is still worth mentioning. Actually her daughter, Elizabeth (Howland) Dickinson (abt.1631-aft.1691) has a mean distance of 17.80, slightly better than her mother.

ID Circle1 Circle2 Circle3 Circle4Circle5Circle10Circle15Mean dist.Date


Least eccentric

Another way to find the center in a graph like the Global Tree is to seek the least eccentric node (profile). Since our work on finding shorter connection paths has led to rapid changes from one most eccentric profile to another, the center has correspondingly bounced around. These central profiles tend to be from medieval and early modern European royalty. They also tend to have a somewhat longer mean distance to other connected profiles.

Mary Stuart

One of the profiles found by this method was Marie Stuart (1542-1587), who was chosen as an example in the beginning of December 2020. She was then mentioned in a discussion as having the lowest sum of distances to the most eccentric three profiles at that time (=243).

Circle1 Circle2 Circle3 Circle4 Circle5 Circle10 Circle15 Mean dist.Eccentr.Date
18 103 404 1,359 3,41760,678 1,229,830 20.38 862020-12-05
18 103 404 1,356 3,44060,925 1,251,269 20.47 802021-01-07

Marie Stuart shared the honors with Henry (Tudor) of England (1491-1547) and Friedrich V (Palatinate-Simmern) Bohemia (1596-1632).

As the most eccentric profiles were reconnected and replaced with other most distant profiles, the initial trio was succeded by:


Comments: 6

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I've just compared Marie Stuart's circles population for dates 2020-05-12 and today 2021-01-07.

- Growth of circles follows roughly the law "it's raining where it's wet", but with many chaotic variations in the details. -- Circles 1 to 20 have globally grown by over 166,000, but circles 10 to 14 have dropped by about 13,000. Certainly a large branch has been detached or moved from those circles. -- Circles 21 to 40 have grown by about 133,000 -- Circles 41 to 60 have grown by about 1,000 -- Circles over 60 have dropped by about 450

- Eccentricity has fallen from 86 to 80. Given than the current radius is over 78, Mary is still quite close to the center.

posted by Bernard Vatant
Of course Mary is still quite close to the center - why shouldn't she be?

That drop in circles 10 to 14 sounds a little strange. I don't have older data for her than from this week, could you share? I don't see anything at all like it when I compare fresh data for Alienor with data from the beginning of November. Henry VIII has lost a sum of 897 profiles in his circles 11 and 12 but nowhere near 13,000.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
I have compared the population growth in Olof Andersson's circles - all the following samples against the the first sample from 2020-11-05.

One of them stands out: something big happened in the week before Dec 14.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
<blushing> Mixed up the two orange lines. It was last week. Changed the colour.

Anyhow, it's an interesting direction to blunder along in.

posted by Eva Ekeblad
The free space page WikiTree Tops ( lists profiles with the most children and grandchildren on WikiTree. It may be a useful point of reference for finding other centrally located profiles in the global tree.
posted by Greg Lavoie

Thanks for the tip, Greg.

I see you are on there :-)

posted by Eva Ekeblad