Interpreting communities based on the evolution of a dynamic attributed network

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Orman G. K. , Labatut V., Plantevit M., Boulicaut J.

SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS AND MINING, vol.5, no.1, 2015 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13278-015-0262-4


Many methods have been proposed to detect communities, not only in plain, but also in attributed, directed, or even dynamic complex networks. From the modeling point of view, to be of some utility, the community structure must be characterized relatively to the properties of the studied system. However, most of the existing works focus on the detection of communities, and only very few try to tackle this interpretation problem. Moreover, the existing approaches are limited either by the type of data they handle or by the nature of the results they output. In this work, we see the interpretation of communities as a problem independent from the detection process, consisting in identifying the most characteristic features of communities. We give a formal definition of this problem and propose a method to solve it. To this aim, we first define a sequence-based representation of networks, combining temporal information, community structure, topological measures, and nodal attributes. We then describe how to identify the most emerging sequential patterns of this dataset and use them to characterize the communities. We study the performance of our method on artificially generated dynamic attributed networks. We also empirically validate our framework on real-world systems: a DBLP network of scientific collaborations, and a LastFM network of social and musical interactions.