Prediction and Clustering in Signed Networks: A Local to Global Perspective
The study of social networks is a burgeoning research area. However, most existing work deals with networks that simply encode whether relationships exist or not. In contrast, relationships in signed networks can be positive ("like", "trust") or negative ("dislike", "distrust"). The theory of social balance shows that signed networks tend to conform to some local patterns that, in turn, induce certain global characteristics. In this paper, we exploit both local as well as global aspects of
... l balance theory for two fundamental problems in the analysis of signed networks: sign prediction and clustering. Motivated by local patterns of social balance, we first propose two families of sign prediction methods: measures of social imbalance (MOIs), and supervised learning using high order cycles (HOCs). These methods predict signs of edges based on triangles and \ell-cycles for relatively small values of \ell. Interestingly, by examining measures of social imbalance, we show that the classic Katz measure, which is used widely in unsigned link prediction, actually has a balance theoretic interpretation when applied to signed networks. Furthermore, motivated by the global structure of balanced networks, we propose an effective low rank modeling approach for both sign prediction and clustering. For the low rank modeling approach, we provide theoretical performance guarantees via convex relaxations, scale it up to large problem sizes using a matrix factorization based algorithm, and provide extensive experimental validation including comparisons with local approaches. Our experimental results indicate that, by adopting a more global viewpoint of balance structure, we get significant performance and computational gains in prediction and clustering tasks on signed networks. Our work therefore highlights the usefulness of the global aspect of balance theory for the analysis of signed networks.