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Closed benchmarks for network community structure characterization

AuthorsAldecoa, Rodrigo ; Marín, Ignacio
Issue Date27-Feb-2012
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
CitationPhysical Review - Section E - Statistical Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics 85(2-2):026109 (2012 Feb)
AbstractCharacterizing the community structure of complex networks is a key challenge in many scientific fields. Very diverse algorithms and methods have been proposed to this end, many working reasonably well in specific situations. However, no consensus has emerged on which of these methods is the best to use in practice. In part, this is due to the fact that testing their performance requires the generation of a comprehensive, standard set of synthetic benchmarks, a goal not yet fully achieved. Here, we present a new type of benchmark that we call “closed”, in which an initial network of known community structure is progressively converted into a second network whose communities are also known. This approach differs from all previously published ones, in which networks evolve toward randomness. The use of this novel type of benchmark allows to monitor the transformation of the community structure of a network. Moreover, we can predict the optimal behavior of the Variation of Information, a measure of the quality of the partitions obtained, at any moment of the process. This enables us in many cases to determine the best partition among those suggested by different algorithms. Also, since any network can be used as a starting point, extensive studies and comparisons can be performed using a heterogeneous set of structures, including random ones. These properties make our benchmarks a general standard for comparing community detection algorithms.
Description18 páginas, 5 figuras. PMID: 22463281 [PubMed]
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.85.026109
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