Wednesday, November 02, 2016

"Detection of Core–Periphery Structure in Networks Using Spectral Methods and Geodesic Paths"

The special issue in European Journal of Applied Mathematics on "Network Analysis and Modelling" that I co-edited also includes a research paper that I coauthored. Here are some details about that paper.

Title: Detection of Core–Periphery Structure in Networks Using Spectral Methods and Geodesic Paths

Authors: Mihai Cucuringu, Puck Rombach, Sang Hoon Lee, and Mason A. Porter

Abstract: We introduce several novel and computationally efficient methods for detecting "core–periphery structure" in networks. Core–periphery structure is a type of mesoscale structure that consists of densely connected core vertices and sparsely connected peripheral vertices. Core vertices tend to be well-connected both among themselves and to peripheral vertices, which tend not to be well-connected to other vertices. Our first method, which is based on transportation in networks, aggregates information from many geodesic paths in a network and yields a score for each vertex that reflects the likelihood that that vertex is a core vertex. Our second method is based on a low-rank approximation of a network’s adjacency matrix, which we express as a perturbation of a tensor-product matrix. Our third approach uses the bottom eigenvector of the random-walk Laplacian to infer a coreness score and a classification into core and peripheral vertices. We also design an objective function to (1) help classify vertices into core or peripheral vertices and (2) provide a goodness-of-fit criterion for classifications into core versus peripheral vertices. To examine the performance of our methods, we apply our algorithms to both synthetically generated networks and a variety of networks constructed from real-world data sets.

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