An Extension of InfoMap to Absorbing Random Walks

21 Dec 2021  ·  Esteban Vargas Bernal, Mason A. Porter, Joseph H. Tien ·

InfoMap is a popular approach for detecting densely connected "communities" of nodes in networks. To detect such communities, it builds on the standard type of Markov chain and ideas from information theory. Motivated by the dynamics of disease spread on networks, whose nodes may have heterogeneous disease-removal rates, we extend InfoMap to absorbing random walks. To do this, we use absorption-scaled graphs, in which the edge weights are scaled according to the absorption rates, along with Markov time sweeping. One of our extensions of InfoMap converges to the standard version of InfoMap in the limit in which the absorption rates approach $0$. We find that the community structure that one detects using our extensions of InfoMap can differ markedly from the community structure that one detects using methods that do not take node-absorption rates into account. Additionally, we demonstrate that the community structure that is induced by local dynamics can have important implications for susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) dynamics on ring-lattice networks. For example, we find situations in which the outbreak duration is maximized when a moderate number of nodes have large node-absorption rates. We also use our extensions of InfoMap to study community structure in a sexual-contact network. We consider the community structure that corresponds to different absorption rates for homeless individuals in the network and the associated impact on syphilis dynamics on the network. We observe that the final outbreak size can be smaller when treatment rates are lower in the homeless population than in other populations than when they are the same in all populations.

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