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Finding overlapping communities in networks by label propagation

Steve Gregory, Finding overlapping communities in networks by label propagation. New Journal of Physics, 12(10). ISSN 1367-2630, pp. 103018–. October 2010. No electronic version available. External information


We propose an algorithm for finding overlapping community structure in very large networks. The algorithm is based on the label propagation technique of Raghavan, Albert and Kumara, but is able to detect communities that overlap. Like the original algorithm, vertices have labels that propagate between neighbouring vertices so that members of a community reach a consensus on their community membership. Our main contribution is to extend the label and propagation step to include information about more than one community: each vertex can now belong to up to v communities, where v is the parameter of the algorithm. Our algorithm can also handle weighted and bipartite networks. Tests on an independently designed set of benchmarks, and on real networks, show the algorithm to be highly effective in recovering overlapping communities. It is also very fast and can process very large and dense networks in a short time.

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