Motif-Based Spectral Clustering of Weighted Directed Networks


Underwood, W
Elliott, A
Cucuringu, M

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Clustering is an essential technique for network analysis, with applications
in a diverse range of fields. Although spectral clustering is a popular and
effective method, it fails to consider higher-order structure and can perform
poorly on directed networks. One approach is to capture and cluster
higher-order structures using motif adjacency matrices. However, current
formulations fail to take edge weights into account, and thus are somewhat
limited when weight is a key component of the network under study.
We address these shortcomings by exploring motif-based weighted spectral
clustering methods. We present new and computationally useful matrix formulae
for motif adjacency matrices on weighted networks, which can be used to
construct efficient algorithms for any anchored or non-anchored motif on three
nodes. In a very sparse regime, our proposed method can handle graphs with five
million nodes and tens of millions of edges in under ten minutes. We further
use our framework to construct a motif-based approach for clustering bipartite
We provide comprehensive experimental results, demonstrating (i) the
scalability of our approach, (ii) advantages of higher-order clustering on
synthetic examples, and (iii) the effectiveness of our techniques on a variety
of real world data sets. We conclude that motif-based spectral clustering is a
valuable tool for analysis of directed and bipartite weighted networks, which
is also scalable and easy to implement.

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Journal Article