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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jun 6;103(23):8577-82. Epub 2006 May 24.

Modularity and community structure in networks.

Author information

  • Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. mejn@umich.edu

Abstract

Many networks of interest in the sciences, including social networks, computer networks, and metabolic and regulatory networks, are found to divide naturally into communities or modules. The problem of detecting and characterizing this community structure is one of the outstanding issues in the study of networked systems. One highly effective approach is the optimization of the quality function known as "modularity" over the possible divisions of a network. Here I show that the modularity can be expressed in terms of the eigenvectors of a characteristic matrix for the network, which I call the modularity matrix, and that this expression leads to a spectral algorithm for community detection that returns results of demonstrably higher quality than competing methods in shorter running times. I illustrate the method with applications to several published network data sets.

PMID:
16723398
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC1482622
Free PMC Article

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