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An Optimization-based Approach To Node Role Discovery in Networks: Approximating Equitable Partitions

Michael Scholkemper · Michael T Schaub

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1115
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[ Paper [ Slides [ OpenReview
Thu 14 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST


Similar to community detection, partitioning the nodes of a complex network according to their structural roles aims to identify fundamental building blocks of a network, which can be used, e.g., to find simplified descriptions of the network connectivity, to derive reduced order models for dynamical processes unfolding on processes, or as ingredients for various network analysis and graph mining tasks. In this work, we offer a fresh look on the problem of role extraction and its differences to community detection and present a definition of node roles and two associated optimization problems (cost functions) grounded in ideas related to graph-isomorphism tests, the Weisfeiler-Leman algorithm and equitable partitions. We present theoretical guarantees and validate our approach via a novel “role-infused partition benchmark”, a network model from which we can sample networks in which nodes are endowed with different roles in a stochastic way.

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