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Exploring temporal community evolution: algorithmic approaches and parallel optimization for dynamic community detection

by Naw Safrin Sattar, Aydin Buluc, Khaled Ibrahim, Shaikh Arifuzzaman
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Applied Network Science
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Dynamic (temporal) graphs are a convenient mathematical abstraction for many practical complex systems including social contacts, business transactions, and computer communications. Community discovery is an extensively used graph analysis kernel with rich literature for static graphs. However, community discovery in a dynamic setting is challenging for two specific reasons. Firstly, the notion of temporal community lacks a widely accepted formalization, and only limited work exists on understanding how communities emerge over time. Secondly, the added temporal dimension along with the sheer size of modern graph data necessitates new scalable algorithms. In this paper, we investigate how communities evolve over time based on several graph metrics under a temporal formalization. We compare six different algorithmic approaches for dynamic community detection for their quality and runtime. We identify that a vertex-centric (local) optimization method works as efficiently as the classical modularity-based methods. To its advantage, such local computation allows for the efficient design of parallel algorithms without incurring a significant parallel overhead. Based on this insight, we design a shared-memory parallel algorithm DyComPar, which demonstrates between 4 and 18 fold speed-up on a multi-core machine with 20 threads, for several real-world and synthetic graphs from different domains.