1;3409;0c Cluster ranking with an application to mining mailbox networks

Cluster ranking with an application to mining mailbox networks

Knowledge and Information Systems, vol. 14, no. 1, 2008
Pages: 101-139DOI: 10.1007/s10115-007-0096-0



We initiate the study of a new clustering framework, called cluster ranking. Rather than simply partitioning a network into clusters, a cluster ranking algorithm also orders the clusters by their strength. To this end, we introduce a novel strength measure for clusters—the integrated cohesion—which is applicable to arbitrary weighted networks. We then present a new cluster ranking algorithm, called C-Rank. We provide extensive theoretical and empirical analysis of C-Rank and show that it is likely to have high precision and recall. A main component of C-Rank is a heuristic algorithm for finding sparse vertex separators. At the core of this algorithm is a new connection between vertex betweenness and multicommodity flow. Our experiments focus on mining mailbox networks. A mailbox network is an egocentric social network, consisting of contacts with whom an individual exchanges email. Edges between contacts represent the frequency of their co–occurrence on message headers. C-Rank is well suited to mine such networks, since they are abundant with overlapping communities of highly variable strengths. We demonstrate the effectiveness of C-Rank on the Enron data set, consisting of 130 mailbox networks.