Statistical Link Label Modeling for Sign Prediction: Smoothing Sparsity by Joining Local and Global Information
One of the major issues in signed networks is to use network structure to predict the missing sign of an edge. In this paper, we introduce a novel probabilistic approach for the sign prediction problem. The main characteristic of the proposed models is their ability to adapt to the sparsity level of an input network. The sparsity of networks is one of the major reasons for the poor performance of many link prediction algorithms, in general, and sign prediction algorithms, in particular. Building a model that has an ability to adapt to the sparsity of the data has not yet been considered in the previous related works. We suggest that there exists a dilemma between local and global structures and attempt to build sparsity adaptive models by resolving this dilemma. To this end, we propose probabilistic prediction models based on local and global structures and integrate them based on the concept of smoothing. The model relies more on the global structures when the sparsity increases, whereas it gives more weights to the information obtained from local structures for low levels of the sparsity. The proposed model is assessed on three real-world signed networks, and the experiments reveal its consistent superiority over the state of the art methods. As compared to the previous methods, the proposed model not only better handles the sparsity problem, but also has lower computational complexity and can be updated using real-time data streams.