Discovering Communities of Community Discovery

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Discovering communities in complex networks means grouping nodes similar to each other, to uncover latent information about them. There are hundreds of different algorithms to solve the community detection task, each with its own understanding and definition of what a "community" is. Dozens of review works attempt to order such a diverse landscape -- classifying community discovery algorithms by the process they employ to detect communities, by their explicitly stated definition of community, or by their performance on a standardized task. In this paper, we classify community discovery algorithms according to a fourth criterion: the similarity of their results. We create an Algorithm Similarity Network (ASN), whose nodes are the community detection approaches, connected if they return similar groupings. We then perform community detection on this network, grouping algorithms that consistently return the same partitions or overlapping coverage over a span of more than one thousand synthetic and real world networks. This paper is an attempt to create a similarity-based classification of community detection algorithms based on empirical data. It improves over the state of the art by comparing more than seventy approaches, discovering that the ASN contains well-separated groups, making it a sensible tool for practitioners, aiding their choice of algorithms fitting their analytic needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date28 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2019


  • community discovery
  • complex networks
  • social networks
  • Cluster analysis


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