Direct blockmodeling of valued and binary networks: a dichotomizationfree approach
Abstract
A longstanding open problem with direct blockmodeling is that it is explicitly intended for binary, not valued, networks. The underlying dilemma is how empirical valued blocks can be compared with ideal binary blocks, an intrinsic problem in the direct approach where partitions are solely determined through such comparisons. Addressing this dilemma, valued networks have either been dichotomized into binary versions, or novel types of ideal valued blocks have been introduced. Both these workarounds are problematic in terms of interpretability, unwanted data reduction, and the often arbitrary setting of model parameters. This paper proposes a direct blockmodeling approach that effectively bypasses the dilemma with blockmodeling of valued networks. By introducing an adaptive weighted correlationbased criteria function, the proposed approach is directly applicable to both binary and valued networks, without any form of dichotomization or transformation of the valued (or binary) data at any point in the analysis, while still using the conventional set of ideal binary blocks from structural, regular and generalized blockmodeling. The approach is demonstrated by structural, regular and generalized blockmodeling applications of six classical binary and valued networks. Finding feasible and intuitive optimal solutions in both the binary and valued examples, the approach is proposed not only as a practical, dichotomizationfree heuristic for blockmodeling of valued networks but also, through its additional benefits, as an alternative to the conventional direct approach to blockmodeling.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 October 2019
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1910.10484
 Bibcode:
 2019arXiv191010484N
 Keywords:

 Computer Science  Social and Information Networks;
 Physics  Physics and Society;
 Statistics  Methodology
 EPrint:
 doi:10.1016/j.socnet.2019.10.004