Persistent Homology with Random Graph Laplacians

29 May 2020
Tadas Temcinas

Eigenvalue-eigenvector pairs of combinatorial graph Laplacians are extensively used in graph theory and network analysis. It is well known that the spectrum of the Laplacian L of a given graph G encodes aspects of the geometry of G  - the multiplicity of the eigenvalue 0 counts the number of connected components while the second smallest eigenvalue (called the Fiedler eigenvalue) quantifies the well-connectedness of G . In network analysis, one uses Laplacian eigenvectors associated with small eigenvalues to perform spectral clustering. In graph signal processing, graph Fourier transforms are defined in terms of an orthonormal eigenbasis of L. Eigenvectors of L also play a central role in graph neural networks.

Motivated by this we study eigenvalue-eigenvector pairs of Laplacians of random graphs and their potential use in TDA. I will present simulation results on what persistent homology barcodes of Bernoulli random graphs G(n, p) look like when we use Laplacian eigenvectors as filter functions. Also, I will discuss the conjectures made from the simulations as well as the challenges that arise when trying to prove them. This is work in progress.

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  • Applied Topology Seminar