Incorporating Network Embedding into Markov Random Field for Better Community Detection
Recent research on community detection focuses on learning representations of nodes using different network embedding methods, and then feeding them as normal features to clustering algorithms. However, we find that though one may have good results by direct clustering based on such network embedding features, there is ample room for improvement. More seriously, in many real networks, some statisticallysignificant nodes which play pivotal roles are often divided into incorrect communities using network embedding methods. This is because while some distance measures are used to capture the spatial relationship between nodes by embedding, the nodes after mapping to feature vectors are essentially not coupled any more, losing important structural information. To address this problem, we propose a general Markov Random Field (MRF) framework to incorporate coupling in network embedding which allows better detecting network communities. By smartly utilizing properties of MRF, the new framework not only preserves the advantages of network embedding (e.g. low complexity, high parallelizability and applicability for traditional machine learning), but also alleviates its core drawback of inadequate representations of dependencies via making up the missing coupling relationships. Experiments on real networks show that our new approach improves the accuracy of existing embedding methods (e.g. Node2Vec, DeepWalk and MNMF), and corrects most wrongly-divided statistically-significant nodes, which makes network embedding essentially suitable for real community detection applications. The new approach also outperforms other state-of-the-art conventional community detection methods.