Community Detection in a Large Real-World Social Network

Karsten Steinhaeuser, Nitesh V. Chawla
Steinhaeuser, Karsten, and Nitesh V. Chawla. "Community detection in a large real-world social network." Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction. Springer US, 2008. 168-175.
Publication Date: 
January, 2008

Identifying meaningful community structure in social networks is a hard problem, and extreme network size or sparseness of the network compound the difficulty of the task.With a proliferation of real-world network datasets there has been an increasing demand for algorithms that work effectively and efficiently. Existing methods are limited by their computational requirements and rely heavily on the network topology, which fails in scale-free networks. Yet, in addition to the network connectivity, many datasets also include attributes of individual nodes, but current methods are unable to incorporate this data. Cognizant of these requirements we propose a simple approach that stirs away from complex algorithms, focusing instead on the edge weights; more specifically, we leverage the node attributes to compute better weights. Our experimental results on a real-world social network show that a simple thresholding method with edge weights based on node attributes is sufficient to identify a very strong community structure.