Community discovery via MetaGraph Factorization

Yu Ru Lin, Jimeng Sun, Hari Sundaram, Aisling Kelliher, Paul Castro, Ravi Konuru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work aims at discovering community structure in rich media social networks through analysis of timevarying, multirelational data. Community structure represents the latent social context of user actions. It has important applications such as search and recommendation. The problem is particularly useful in the enterprise domain, where extracting emergent community structure on enterprise social media can help in forming new collaborative teams, in expertise discovery, and in the long term reorganization of enterprises based on collaboration patterns. There are several unique challenges: (a) In social media, the context of user actions is constantly changing and coevolving; hence the social context contains time-evolving multidimensional relations. (b) The social context is determined by the available system features and is unique in each social media platform; hence the analysis of such data needs to flexibly incorporate various system features. In this article we propose MetaFac (MetaGraph Factorization), a framework that extracts community structures from dynamic, multidimensional social contexts and interactions. Our work has three key contributions: (1) metagraph, a novel relational hypergraph representation for modeling multirelational and multidimensional social data; (2) an efficient multirelational factorization method for community extraction on a given metagraph; (3) an online method to handle time-varying relations through incremental metagraph factorization. Extensive experiments on real-world social data collected from an enterprise and the public Digg social media Web site suggest that our technique is scalable and is able to extract meaningful communities from social media contexts. We illustrate the usefulness of our framework through two prediction tasks: (1) in the enterprise dataset, the task is to predict users' future interests on tag usage, and (2) in the Digg dataset, the task is to predict users' future interests in voting and commenting on Digg stories. Our prediction significantly outperforms baseline methods (including aspect model and tensor analysis), indicating the promising direction of using metagraphs for handling time-varying social relational contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17
JournalACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • Community discovery
  • Dynamic social network analysis
  • MetaFac
  • MetaGraph Factorization
  • Nonnegative tensor factorization
  • Relational hypergraph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Community discovery via MetaGraph Factorization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this