Knowledge and Information Systems

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 741–770 | Cite as

GLEAM: a graph clustering framework based on potential game optimization for large-scale social networks

  • Zhan Bu
  • Jie CaoEmail author
  • Hui-Jia Li
  • Guangliang Gao
  • Haicheng Tao
Regular Paper


With the growing explosion of online social networks, the study of large-scale graph clustering has attracted considerable interest. Most of traditional methods view the graph clustering problem as an optimization problem based on a given objective function; however, there are few methodical theories for the emergence of clusters over real-life networks. In this paper, each actor in online social networks is viewed as a selfish player in a non-cooperative game. The strategy associated with each node is defined as the cluster membership vector, and each one’s incentive is to maximize its own social identity by adopting the most suitable strategy. The definition of utility function in our game model is inspired by the conformity psychology, which is defined as the weighted average of one’s social identity by participating different clusters. With this setting, the proposed game can well match a potential game. So that the cluster could be shaped by the actions of those closely interactive users who adopt the same strategy in a Nash equilibrium. To this end, we propose a novel Graph cLustering framework based on potEntial gAme optiMization (GLEAM) for parallel graph clustering. It first utilize the cosine similarity to weight each edge in the original network. Then, an initial partition, including a number of clusters dominated by those potential “leader nodes”, is created by a fast heuristic process. Third, a potential game-based weighted Modularity optimization is used to improve the initial partition. Finally, we introduce the notion of potentially attractive cluster, and then discover the overlapping partition of the graph using a simple double-threshold procedure. Three phases in GLEAM are carefully designed for parallel execution. Experiments on real-world networks analyze the convergence inside GLEAM, and demonstrate the high performance of GLEAM by comparing it with the state-of-the-art community detection approaches in the literature.


Social networks Graph clustering Potential game Cosine similarity Double-threshold procedure Overlapping partition Parallel 



This research was partially supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2016YFB1000901; National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 61502222 and 71401194; Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China under Grant BK20150988; Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 91646204; National Science and Technology Pillar Program of Jiangsu Province of China under Grant BE2016178; and Young Elite Teacher Project of Central University of Finance and Economics under Grants QYP1603.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of E-BusinessNanjing University of Finance and EconomicsNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Management Science and EngineeringCentral University of Finance and EconomicsBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Computer Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  4. 4.School of Information EngineeringNanjing University of Finance and EconomicsNanjingChina

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