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# Practical Almost-Linear-Time Approximation Algorithms for Hybrid and Overlapping Graph Clustering

*Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 162:17071-17093, 2022.

#### Abstract

Detecting communities in real-world networks and clustering similarity graphs are major data mining tasks with a wide range of applications in graph mining, collaborative filtering, and bioinformatics. In many such applications, overwhelming empirical evidence suggests that communities and clusters are naturally overlapping, i.e., the boundary of a cluster may contain both edges across clusters and nodes that are shared with other clusters, calling for novel hybrid graph partitioning algorithms (HGP). While almost-linear-time approximation algorithms are known for edge-boundary-based graph partitioning, little progress has been made on fast algorithms for HGP, even in the special case of vertex-boundary-based graph partitioning. In this work, we introduce a frame-work based on two novel clustering objectives, which naturally extend the well-studied notion of conductance to clusters with hybrid vertex-and edge-boundary structure. Our main algorithmic contributions are almost-linear-time algorithms O(log n)-approximation algorithms for both these objectives. To this end, we show that the cut-matching framework of (Khandekar et al., 2014) can be significantly extended to incorporate hybrid partitions. Crucially, we implement our approximation algorithm to produce both hybrid partitions and optimality certificates for large graphs, easily scaling to tens of millions of edges, and test our implementation on real-world datasets against other competitive baselines.