Estimating the resolution limit of the map equation in community detection
2015 (English)In: Physical Review E. Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, ISSN 1539-3755, E-ISSN 1550-2376, Vol. 91, no 1, 012809- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A community detection algorithm is considered to have a resolution limit if the scale of the smallest modules that can be resolved depends on the size of the analyzed subnetwork. The resolution limit is known to prevent some community detection algorithms from accurately identifying the modular structure of a network. In fact, any global objective function for measuring the quality of a two-level assignment of nodes into modules must have some sort of resolution limit or an external resolution parameter. However, it is yet unknown how the resolution limit affects the so-called map equation, which is known to be an efficient objective function for community detection. We derive an analytical estimate and conclude that the resolution limit of the map equation is set by the total number of links between modules instead of the total number of links in the full network as for modularity. This mechanism makes the resolution limit much less restrictive for the map equation than for modularity; in practice, it is orders of magnitudes smaller. Furthermore, we argue that the effect of the resolution limit often results from shoehorning multilevel modular structures into two-level descriptions. As we show, the hierarchical map equation effectively eliminates the resolution limit for networks with nested multilevel modular structures.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 91, no 1, 012809- p.
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100132DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.91.012809ISI: 000348764300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-100132DiVA: diva2:792079