Co-Membership-based Generic Anomalous Communities Detection

Shay Lapid, Dima Kagan, Michael Fire

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

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Nowadays, detecting anomalous communities in networks is an essential task in research, as it helps discover insights into community-structured networks. Most of the existing methods leverage either information regarding attributes of vertices or the topological structure of communities. In this study, we introduce the Co-Membership-based Generic Anomalous Communities Detection Algorithm (referred as to CMMAC), a novel and generic method that utilizes the information of vertices co-membership in multiple communities. CMMAC is domain-free and almost unaffected by communities' sizes and densities. Specifically, we train a classifier to predict the probability of each vertex in a community being a member of the community. We then rank the communities by the aggregated membership probabilities of each community's vertices. The lowest-ranked communities are considered to be anomalous. Furthermore, we present an algorithm for generating a community-structured random network enabling the infusion of anomalous communities to facilitate research in the field. We utilized it to generate two datasets, composed of thousands of labeled anomaly-infused networks, and published them. We experimented extensively on thousands of simulated, and real-world networks, infused with artificial anomalies. CMMAC outperformed other existing methods in a range of settings. Additionally, we demonstrated that CMMAC can identify abnormal communities in real-world unlabeled networks in different domains, such as Reddit and Wikipedia.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2022


  • cs.SI
  • cs.LG


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