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# Modularity-based Sparse Soft Graph Clustering

*Proceedings of the Twenty-Second International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 89:323-332, 2019.

#### Abstract

Clustering is a central problem in machine learning for which graph-based approaches have proven their efficiency. In this paper, we study a relaxation of the modularity maximization problem, well-known in the graph partitioning literature. A solution of this relaxation gives to each element of the dataset a probability to belong to a given cluster, whereas a solution of the standard modularity problem is a partition. We introduce an efficient optimization algorithm to solve this relaxation, that is both memory efficient and local. Furthermore, we prove that our method includes, as a special case, the Louvain optimization scheme, a state-of-the-art technique to solve the traditional modularity problem. Experiments on both synthetic and real-world data illustrate that our approach provides meaningful information on various types of data.