Using geodesic space density gradients for network community detection

Arif Mahmood, Michael Small, Somaya Ali Al-Maadeed, Nasir Rajpoot

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)
    529 Downloads (Pure)


    Many real world complex systems naturally map to network data structures instead of geometric spaces because the only available information is the presence or absence of a link between two entities in the system. To enable data mining techniques to solve problems in the network domain, the nodes need to be mapped to a geometric space. We propose this mapping by representing each network node with its geodesic distances from all other nodes. The space spanned by the geodesic distance vectors is the geodesic space of that network. The position of different nodes in the geodesic space encode the network structure. In this space, considering a continuous density field induced by each node, density at a specific point is the summation of density fields induced by all nodes. We drift each node in the direction of positive density gradient using an iterative algorithm till each node reaches a local maximum. Due to the network structure captured by this space, the nodes that drift to the same region of space belong to the same communities in the original network. We use the direction of movement and final position of each node as important clues for community membership assignment. The proposed algorithm is compared with more than 10 state-of-the-art community detection techniques on two benchmark networks with known communities using Normalized Mutual Information criterion. The proposed algorithm outperformed these methods by a significant margin. Moreover, the proposed algorithm has also shown excellent performance on many real-world networks.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number7756297
    Pages (from-to)921-935
    Number of pages15
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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