On spectral algorithms for community detection in stochastic blockmodel graphs with vertex covariates
Abstract
In network inference applications, it is often desirable to detect community structure, namely to cluster vertices into groups, or blocks, according to some measure of similarity. Beyond mere adjacency matrices, many real networks also involve vertex covariates that carry key information about underlying block structure in graphs. To assess the effects of such covariates on block recovery, we present a comparative analysis of two modelbased spectral algorithms for clustering vertices in stochastic blockmodel graphs with vertex covariates. The first algorithm uses only the adjacency matrix, and directly estimates the block assignments. The second algorithm incorporates both the adjacency matrix and the vertex covariates into the estimation of block assignments, and moreover quantifies the explicit impact of the vertex covariates on the resulting estimate of the block assignments. We employ Chernoff information to analytically compare the algorithms' performance and derive the informationtheoretic Chernoff ratio for certain models of interest. Analytic results and simulations suggest that the second algorithm is often preferred: we can often better estimate the induced block assignments by first estimating the effect of vertex covariates. In addition, real data examples also indicate that the second algorithm has the advantages of revealing underlying block structure and taking observed vertex heterogeneity into account in real applications. Our findings emphasize the importance of distinguishing between observed and unobserved factors that can affect block structure in graphs.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 July 2020
 arXiv:
 arXiv:2007.02156
 Bibcode:
 2020arXiv200702156M
 Keywords:

 Computer Science  Social and Information Networks;
 Computer Science  Machine Learning;
 Mathematics  Statistics Theory;
 Statistics  Computation;
 Statistics  Machine Learning
 EPrint:
 17 pages, 7 figures