An ego-network is a graph representing the interactions of a node (ego) with its neighbors and the interactions among those neighbors. A sequence of ego-networks having the same ego can thus model the evolution of these interactions over time. We introduce the problem of segmenting a sequence of ego-networks into k segments, for any given integer k. Each segment is represented by a summary network, and the goal is to minimize the total loss of representing k segments by k summaries. The problem allows partitioning the sequence into homogeneous segments with respect to the activities or properties of the ego (e.g., to identify time periods when a user acquired different circles of friends in a social network) and to compactly represent each segment with a summary. The main challenge is to construct a summary that represents a collection of ego-networks with minimum loss. To address this challenge, we employ Jaccard Median (JM), a well-known NP-hard problem for summarizing sets, for which, however, no effective and efficient algorithms are known. We develop a series of algorithms for JM offering different effectiveness/efficiency trade-offs: (I) an exact exponential-time algorithm, based on Mixed Integer Linear Programming and (II) exact and approximation polynomial-time algorithms for minimizing an upper bound of the objective function of JM. By building upon these results, we design two algorithms for segmenting a sequence of ego-networks that are effective, as shown experimentally.

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22nd IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM 2022
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Zhong, H., Loukides, G., Conte, A., & Pissis, S. (2023). Jaccard Median for ego-network segmentation. In Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM (pp. 1353–1358). doi:10.1109/ICDM54844.2022.00180