[DB Seminar] Spring 2017: Priya Govindan

Event Date: Monday May 15, 2017
Event Time: 04:45pm EDT
Location: GHC 6115
Speaker: Priya Govindan

Title: The K-peak Decomposition: Mapping The Global Structure Of Graphs

The structure of real-world complex networks has long been an area of interest, and one common way to describe the structure of a network has been with the k-core decomposition. The core number of a node can be thought of as a measure of its centrality and importance, and is used by applications such as community detection, understanding viral spreads, and detecting fraudsters. However, we observe that the k-core decomposition suffers from an important flaw: namely, it is calculated globally, and so if the network contains distinct regions of different densities, the sparser among these regions may be neglected.

To resolve this issue, we propose the k-peak graph decomposition method, based on the k-core algorithm, which finds the centers of distinct regions in the graph. Our contributions are as follows: (1) We present a novel graph decomposition- the k-peak decomposition- and corresponding algorithm, and perform a theoretical analysis of its properties. (2) We describe a new visualization method, the ‘Mountain Plot’, which can be used to better understand the global structure of a graph. (3) We perform an extensive empirical analysis of real-world graphs, including technological, social, biological, and collaboration graphs, and show how the k-peak decomposition gives insight into the structures of these graphs. (4) We demonstrate the advantage of using the k-peak decomposition in various applications, including community detection, contagion and identifying essential proteins.

Priya Govindan is a final-year PhD student at Rutgers University. She studies the structure of large social graphs, designing efficient algorithms to find their patterns that maybe useful for many applications.