Title: Characterising and modelling social networks with overlapping communities

Authors: Dajie Liu; Norbert Blenn; Piet Van Mieghem

Addresses: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5031, 2600 GA, Delft, The Netherlands ' Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5031, 2600 GA, Delft, The Netherlands ' Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5031, 2600 GA, Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: Social networks, as well as many other real-world networks, exhibit overlapping community structure. Affiliation networks, as a large portion of social networks, consist of cooperative individuals: two individuals are connected by a link if they belong to the same organisation(s), such as companies, research groups and hobby clubs. Affiliation networks naturally contain many fully connected communities/groups. In this paper, we characterise the structure of the real-world affiliation networks, and propose a growing hypergraph model with preferential attachment for affiliation networks, which reproduces the clique structure of affiliation networks. By comparing computational results of our model with measurements of the real-world affiliation networks of ArXiv co-authorship, IMDB actors collaboration and SourceForge collaboration, we show that our model captures the fundamental properties including the power-law distributions of group size, group degree, overlapping depth, individual degree and interest-sharing number of real-world affiliation networks, and reproduces the properties of high clustering, assortative mixing and short average path length of real-world affiliation networks.

Keywords: social networks; overlapping communities; community structure; growing hypergraph model; preferential attachment; power law distributions; eigenvalue; social network modelling; affiliation networks; online communities; virtual communities; web based communities; group size; group degree; overlapping depth; individual degree; interest sharing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2013.054909

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2013 Vol.9 No.3, pp.371 - 391

Published online: 27 May 2013 *

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