Perspective on Measurement Metrics for Community Detection Algorithms

Authors: 
Yang Yang, Yizhou Sun, Saurav Pandit, Nitesh V. Chawla,
Citation: 
Mining Social Networks and Security Informatics. Springer Netherlands, 2013. 227-242
Publication Date: 
January, 2013

Community detection or cluster detection in networks is often at the core of mining network data. Whereas the problem is well-studied, given the scale and complexity of modern day social networks, detecting “reasonable” communities is often a hard problem. Since the first use of k-means algorithm in 1960s, many community detection algorithms have been presented—most of which are developed with specific goals in mind and the idea of detecting meaningful communities varies widely from one algorithm to another.

As the number of clustering algorithms grows, so does the number of metrics on how to measure them. Algorithms are often reduced to optimizing the value of an objective function such as modularity and internal density. Some of these metrics rely on ground-truth, some do not. In this chapter we study these algorithms and aim to find whether these optimization based measurements are consistent with the real performance of community detection algorithm. Seven representative algorithms are compared under various performance metrics, and on various real world social networks.

The difficulties of measuring community detection algorithms are mostly due to the unavailability of ground-truth information, and then objective functions, such as modularity, are used as substitutes. The benchmark networks that simulate real world networks with planted community structure are introduced to tackle the unavailability of ground-truth information, however whether the simulation is precise and useful has not been verified. In this chapter we present the performance of community detection algorithms on real world networks and their corresponding benchmark networks, which are designed to demonstrate the differences between real world networks and benchmark networks.