Hierarchical mutual information for the comparison of hierarchical community structures in complex networks

Perotti, Juan Ignacio; Tessone, Claudio Juan; Caldarelli, Guido
The quest for a quantitative characterization of community and modular structure of complex networks produced a variety of methods and algorithms to classify different networks. However, it is not clear if such methods provide consistent, robust and meaningful results when considering hierarchies as a whole. Part of the problem is the lack of a similarity measure for the comparison of hierarchical community structures. In this work we give a contribution by introducing the {\{}$\backslash$it hierarchical mutual information{\}}, which is a generalization of the traditional mutual information, and allows to compare hierarchical partitions and hierarchical community structures. The {\{}$\backslash$it normalized{\}} version of the hierarchical mutual information should behave analogously to the traditional normalized mutual information. Here, the correct behavior of the hierarchical mutual information is corroborated on an extensive battery of numerical experiments. The experiments are performed on artificial hierarchies, and on the hierarchical community structure of artificial and empirical networks. Furthermore, the experiments illustrate some of the practical applications of the hierarchical mutual information. Namely, the comparison of different community detection methods, and the study of the the consistency, robustness and temporal evolution of the hierarchical modular structure of networks.
Research areas:
Year:
2015
Type of Publication:
Article
Journal:
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume:
92
Number:
6
Pages:
1-13
ISSN:
1550-2376
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevE.92.062825
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