Network Structural Analysis via Core-Tree-Decomposition

author: Takanori Maehara, National Institute of Informatics
published: Oct. 7, 2014,   recorded: August 2014,   views: 1979


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The study of network analysis is still a new science; currently, the structure of real-world networks is described only in terms of the coarsest and basic details such as diameter and degree distribution. To efficiently and effectively implement network analysis techniques, a more comprehensive grasp of their finer mathematical structure is required. The seminal work by Leskovec et al. tackled this issue by decomposing networks into two parts; namely "whiskers" and "cores."

In this study, we progress toward this issue by obtaining a novel "core-tree-decomposition," which is a variant of the well-known tree-decomposition. Specifically, we perform experiments to construct core-tree-decompositions for as many as 40 publicly available datasets. Our decomposition provides more structural information than the previous method in the following ways:

1. By comparing the eigenvalue distribution of the cores obtained by our decomposition method with that of the Erdos-Renyi random graphs, we confirm that, unlike the previously defined core, our "core" behaves like a random graph, i.e., an expander graph. Thus, the intuition that the cores should be "expander-like" is confirmed by the eigenvalue distribution of our cores.
2. By deleting the core, we obtain a tree-decomposition of small width, which behaves like a tree. Therefore, we can say that whiskers are "tree-like," and can be explained in terms of "tree-width."
3. We show that the cores of real networks widely range in size, which implies that their tree-widths are also quite varied. Furthermore, we show theoretical and empirical evidence that tree-width plays a significant role in the efficiency of certain types of algorithms.

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