The Geometric Block Model

16 Sep 2017  ·  Sainyam Galhotra, Arya Mazumdar, Soumyabrata Pal, Barna Saha ·

To capture the inherent geometric features of many community detection problems, we propose to use a new random graph model of communities that we call a Geometric Block Model. The geometric block model generalizes the random geometric graphs in the same way that the well-studied stochastic block model generalizes the Erdos-Renyi random graphs. It is also a natural extension of random community models inspired by the recent theoretical and practical advancement in community detection. While being a topic of fundamental theoretical interest, our main contribution is to show that many practical community structures are better explained by the geometric block model. We also show that a simple triangle-counting algorithm to detect communities in the geometric block model is near-optimal. Indeed, even in the regime where the average degree of the graph grows only logarithmically with the number of vertices (sparse-graph), we show that this algorithm performs extremely well, both theoretically and practically. In contrast, the triangle-counting algorithm is far from being optimum for the stochastic block model. We simulate our results on both real and synthetic datasets to show superior performance of both the new model as well as our algorithm.

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