Found Graph Data and Planted Vertex Covers

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Authors Jon Kleinberg, Austin R. Benson
Journal/Conference Name NeurIPS 2018 12
Paper Category
Paper Abstract A typical way in which network data is recorded is to measure all the interactions among a specified set of core nodes; this produces a graph containing this core together with a potentially larger set of fringe nodes that have links to the core. Interactions between pairs of nodes in the fringe, however, are not recorded by this process, and hence not present in the resulting graph data. For example, a phone service provider may only have records of calls in which at least one of the participants is a customer; this can include calls between a customer and a non-customer, but not between pairs of non-customers. Knowledge of which nodes belong to the core is an important piece of metadata that is crucial for interpreting the network dataset. But in many cases, this metadata is not available, either because it has been lost due to difficulties in data provenance, or because the network consists of found data obtained in settings such as counter-surveillance. This leads to a natural algorithmic problem, namely the recovery of the core set. Since the core set forms a vertex cover of the graph, we essentially have a planted vertex cover problem, but with an arbitrary underlying graph. We develop a theoretical framework for analyzing this planted vertex cover problem, based on results in the theory of fixed-parameter tractability, together with algorithms for recovering the core. Our algorithms are fast, simple to implement, and out-perform several methods based on network core-periphery structure on various real-world datasets.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language Julia
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