Department of Computational Social Science Seminar Abstract

Friday, October 7 - 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Third Floor, Research Hall

Title: Community Detection in Complex Networks: Basic Approaches, Pitfalls, and Remedies

Michelle Girvan, Asst. Professor
Department of Physics and the Institute
for Physical Science and Technology
University of Maryland

Abstract: In the last several years, the problem of network clustering or community finding has received considerable attention from computer scientists, social scientists, and physicists. In this talk, I will review approaches introduced in the physics literature and also discuss two recent studies that extend these approaches to more nuanced clustering problems. The first of these studies introduces an alternative measure of community structure that is functionally motivated (in contrast to structurally motivated measures). The second study focuses on the problem of finding near-optimal network partitions. These studies suggest a need to approach different classes of network clustering problems with different tools. In addition, they highlight the utility of collaborative efforts between scientists from different fields for understanding complex networks.