Fuzzy communities and the concept of bridgeness in complex networks

Tamás Nepusz, Andrea Petróczi, László Négyessy, Fülöp Bazsó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

219 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the problem of fuzzy community detection in networks, which complements and expands the concept of overlapping community structure. Our approach allows each vertex of the graph to belong to multiple communities at the same time, determined by exact numerical membership degrees, even in the presence of uncertainty in the data being analyzed. We create an algorithm for determining the optimal membership degrees with respect to a given goal function. Based on the membership degrees, we introduce a measure that is able to identify outlier vertices that do not belong to any of the communities, bridge vertices that have significant membership in more than one single community, and regular vertices that fundamentally restrict their interactions within their own community, while also being able to quantify the centrality of a vertex with respect to its dominant community. The method can also be used for prediction in case of uncertainty in the data set analyzed. The number of communities can be given in advance, or determined by the algorithm itself, using a fuzzified variant of the modularity function. The technique is able to discover the fuzzy community structure of different real world networks including, but not limited to, social networks, scientific collaboration networks, and cortical networks, with high confidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016107
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 18 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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