Jaewon Yang, Jure Leskovec
(Submitted on 28 May 2012)
Nodes in real-world networks, such as social, information or technological networks, organize into communities where edges appear with high concentration among the members of the community. Identifying communities in networks has proven to be a challenging task mainly due to a plethora of definitions of a community, intractability of algorithms, issues with evaluation and the lack of a reliable gold-standard ground-truth.
We study a set of 230 large social, collaboration and information networks where nodes explicitly define group memberships. We use these groups to define the notion of ground-truth communities. We then propose a methodology which allows us to compare and quantitatively evaluate different definitions of network communities on a large scale. We choose 13 commonly used definitions of network communities and examine their quality, sensitivity and robustness. We show that the 13 definitions naturally group into four classes. We find that two of these definitions, Conductance and Triad-participation-ratio, consistently give the best performance in identifying ground-truth communities.