Streaming, Memory Limited Algorithms for Community Detection

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

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Se-Young Yun, marc lelarge, Alexandre Proutiere


In this paper, we consider sparse networks consisting of a finite number of non-overlapping communities, i.e. disjoint clusters, so that there is higher density within clusters than across clusters. Both the intra- and inter-cluster edge densities vanish when the size of the graph grows large, making the cluster reconstruction problem nosier and hence difficult to solve. We are interested in scenarios where the network size is very large, so that the adjacency matrix of the graph is hard to manipulate and store. The data stream model in which columns of the adjacency matrix are revealed sequentially constitutes a natural framework in this setting. For this model, we develop two novel clustering algorithms that extract the clusters asymptotically accurately. The first algorithm is {\it offline}, as it needs to store and keep the assignments of nodes to clusters, and requires a memory that scales linearly with the network size. The second algorithm is {\it online}, as it may classify a node when the corresponding column is revealed and then discard this information. This algorithm requires a memory growing sub-linearly with the network size. To construct these efficient streaming memory-limited clustering algorithms, we first address the problem of clustering with partial information, where only a small proportion of the columns of the adjacency matrix is observed and develop, for this setting, a new spectral algorithm which is of independent interest.