Inferring monopartite projections of bipartite networks: an entropy-based approach

Fabio Saracco, Mika J Straka, Riccardo Di Clemente, Andrea Gabrielli, Guido Caldarelli, Tiziano Squartini
2017 New Journal of Physics  
Bipartite networks are currently regarded as providing a major insight into the organization of many real-world systems, unveiling the mechanisms driving the interactions occurring between distinct groups of nodes. One of the most important issues encountered when modeling bipartite networks is devising a way to obtain a (monopartite) projection on the layer of interest, which preserves as much as possible the information encoded into the original bipartite structure. In the present paper we
more » ... present paper we propose an algorithm to obtain statistically-validated projections of bipartite networks, according to which any two nodes sharing a statistically-significant number of neighbors are linked. Since assessing the statistical significance of nodes similarity requires a proper statistical benchmark, here we consider a set of four null models, defined within the exponential random graph framework. Our algorithm outputs a matrix of link-specific p-values, from which a validated projection is straightforwardly obtainable, upon running a multiple hypothesis testing procedure. Finally, we test our method on an economic network (i.e. the countries-products World Trade Web representation) and a social network (i.e. MovieLens, collecting the users' ratings of a list of movies). In both cases non-trivial communities are detected: while projecting the World Trade Web on the countries layer reveals modules of similarly-industrialized nations, projecting it on the products layer allows communities characterized by an increasing level of complexity to be detected; in the second case, projecting MovieLens on the films layer allows clusters of movies whose affinity cannot be fully accounted for by genre similarity to be individuated.
doi:10.1088/1367-2630/aa6b38 fatcat:wmygsjcsbfgljpzg2tgompyxqe