Continuous Encoding for Overlapping Community Detection in Attributed Network

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Online published14 Mar 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 14 Mar 2022


Detecting overlapping communities of an attribute network is a ubiquitous yet very difficult task, which can be modeled as a discrete optimization problem. Besides the topological structure of the network, node attributes and node overlapping aggravate the difficulty of community detection significantly. In this article, we propose a novel continuous encoding method to convert the discrete-natured detection problem to a continuous one by associating each edge and node attribute in the network with a continuous variable. Based on the encoding, we propose to solve the converted continuous problem by a multiobjective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA) based on decomposition. To find the overlapping nodes, a heuristic based on double-decoding is proposed, which is only with linear complexity. Furthermore, a postprocess community merging method in consideration of node attributes is developed to enhance the homogeneity of nodes in the detected communities. Various synthetic and real-world networks are used to verify the effectiveness of the proposed approach. The experimental results show that the proposed approach performs significantly better than a variety of evolutionary and nonevolutionary methods on most of the benchmark networks.

Research Area(s)

  • Attribute network, Complex networks, continuous encoding method, Decoding, Encoding, Image edge detection, Measurement, multiobjective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA), Optimization, overlapping communities, Peer-to-peer computing