On Community Outliers and their Efficient Detection in Information Networks

author: Jing Gao, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo
published: Oct. 1, 2010,   recorded: July 2010,   views: 4476


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Linked or networked data are ubiquitous in many applications. Examples include web data or hypertext documents connected via hyperlinks, social networks or user profiles connected via friend links, co-authorship and citation information, blog data, movie reviews and so on. In these datasets (called "information networks"), closely related objects that share the same properties or interests form a community. For example, a community in blogsphere could be users mostly interested in cell phone reviews and news. Outlier detection in information networks can reveal important anomalous and interesting behaviors that are not obvious if community information is ignored. An example could be a low-income person being friends with many rich people even though his income is not anomalously low when considered over the entire population. This paper first introduces the concept of community outliers (interesting points or rising stars for a more positive sense), and then shows that well-known baseline approaches without considering links or community information cannot find these community outliers. We propose an efficient solution by modeling networked data as a mixture model composed of multiple normal communities and a set of randomly generated outliers. The probabilistic model characterizes both data and links simultaneously by defining their joint distribution based on hidden Markov random fields (HMRF). Maximizing the data likelihood and the posterior of the model gives the solution to the outlier inference problem. We apply the model on both synthetic data and DBLP data sets, and the results demonstrate importance of this concept, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed approach.

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