Detecting Overlapping and Correlated Communities without Pure Nodes: Identifiability and Algorithm


Kejun Huang, Xiao Fu ;
Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 97:2859-2868, 2019.


Many machine learning problems come in the form of networks with relational data between entities, and one of the key unsupervised learning tasks is to detect communities in such a network. We adopt the mixed-membership stochastic blockmodel as the underlying probabilistic model, and give conditions under which the memberships of a subset of nodes can be uniquely identified. Our method starts by constructing a second-order graph moment, which can be shown to converge to a specific product of the true parameters as the size of the network increases. To correctly recover the true membership parameters, we formulate an optimization problem using insights from convex geometry. We show that if the true memberships satisfy a so-called sufficiently scattered condition, then solving the proposed problem correctly identifies the ground truth. We also propose an efficient algorithm for detecting communities, which is significantly faster than prior work and with better convergence properties. Experiments on synthetic and real data justify the validity of the proposed learning framework for network data.

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