Clustering from Labels and Time-Varying Graphs

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Shiau Hong Lim, Yudong Chen, Huan Xu


We present a general framework for graph clustering where a label is observed to each pair of nodes. This allows a very rich encoding of various types of pairwise interactions between nodes. We propose a new tractable approach to this problem based on maximum likelihood estimator and convex optimization. We analyze our algorithm under a general generative model, and provide both necessary and sufficient conditions for successful recovery of the underlying clusters. Our theoretical results cover and subsume a wide range of existing graph clustering results including planted partition, weighted clustering and partially observed graphs. Furthermore, the result is applicable to novel settings including time-varying graphs such that new insights can be gained on solving these problems. Our theoretical findings are further supported by empirical results on both synthetic and real data.