Multi-Objective Community Detection Based on Memetic Algorithm


Community detection has drawn a lot of attention as it can provide invaluable help in understanding the function and visualizing the structure of networks. Since single objective optimization methods have intrinsic drawbacks to identifying multiple significant community structures, some methods formulate the community detection as multi-objective problems and adopt population-based evolutionary algorithms to obtain multiple community structures. Evolutionary algorithms have strong global search ability, but have difficulty in locating local optima efficiently. In this study, in order to identify multiple significant community structures more effectively, a multi-objective memetic algorithm for community detection is proposed by combining multi-objective evolutionary algorithm with a local search procedure. The local search procedure is designed by addressing three issues. Firstly, nondominated solutions generated by evolutionary operations and solutions in dominant population are set as initial individuals for local search procedure. Then, a new direction vector named as pseudonormal vector is proposed to integrate two objective functions together to form a fitness function. Finally, a network specific local search strategy based on label propagation rule is expanded to search the local optimal solutions efficiently. The extensive experiments on both artificial and real-world networks evaluate the proposed method from three aspects. Firstly, experiments on influence of local search procedure demonstrate that the local search procedure can speed up the convergence to better partitions and make the algorithm more stable. Secondly, comparisons with a set of classic community detection methods illustrate the proposed method can find single partitions effectively. Finally, the method is applied to identify hierarchical structures of networks which are beneficial for analyzing networks in multi-resolution levels.