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Technical Report HW-MACS-TR-0104

Title The Rich Community Paradigm: A New Approach to Communities and (Social) Networks
Authors Fraser Blackmun
Date 2014-05-01
Abstract There are two underexplored problems in the discipline of community detection: methods to define network communities in a generic, self-contained manner, rather than as the result of a particular external algorithm run with some particular input parameters; and methods for the purpose of presenting, to people (both within and without the communities), communities that are meaningfully inter-related, deeply penetrating into the world of social connections, which those people can interpret and comprehend to a significant extent without semantic markup or user input. This report argues that these problems can be solved with a framework for defining communities as entities in a standardised network-theoretic manner that accounts for time, something currently lacking in relevant literature. Such a framework is proposed that can define communities based on highly complex relations across time, in a rigorous network-theoretic manner, such that a community’s meaning is self-contained. Results give a first indication to how this framework can represent many complex dimensions of user communities. The potential of algorithms to automate discovery and presentation of such ‘rich’ communities to (pervasive/mobile/cyber-physical-)social computing system users is accommodated for in the form of an internally self-validating theoretical algorithmic framework, which is left as the subject of future research. The work advanced could potentially unite what might be currently fragmented network disciplines, and impose a theoretical rigour on network science akin to that which the formal rules of mathematics imposed on scientific enquiry.
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