Measuring and modeling bipartite graphs with community structure


Network science is a powerful tool for analyzing complex systems in fields ranging from sociology to engineering to biology. This article is focused on generative models of large-scale bipartite graphs, also known as two-way graphs or two-mode networks. We propose two generative models that can be easily tuned to reproduce the characteristics of real-world networks, not just qualitatively but quantitatively. The characteristics we consider are the degree distributions and the metamorphosis coefficient. The metamorphosis coefficient, a bipartite analogue of the clustering coefficient, is the proportion of length-three paths that participate in length-four cycles. Having a high metamorphosis coefficient is a necessary condition for close-knit community structure. We define edge, node and degreewise metamorphosis coefficients, enabling a more detailed understanding of the bipartite connectivity that is not explained by degree distribution alone. Our first model, bipartite Chung–Lu, is able to reproduce real-world degree distributions, and our second model, bipartite block two-level Erdös–Rényi, reproduces both the degree distributions as well as the degreewise metamorphosis coefficients. We demonstrate the effectiveness of these models on several real-world data sets.

Journal of Complex Networks