Analyzing, Exploring, and Visualizing Complex Networks via Hypergraphs using SimpleHypergraphs.jl

by   Alessia Antelmi, et al.

Real-world complex networks are usually being modeled as graphs. The concept of graphs assumes that the relations within the network are binary (for instance, between pairs of nodes); however, this is not always true for many real-life scenarios, such as peer-to-peer communication schemes, paper co-authorship, or social network interactions. For such scenarios, it is often the case that the underlying network is better and more naturally modeled by hypergraphs. A hypergraph is a generalization of a graph in which a single (hyper)edge can connect any number of vertices. Hypergraphs allow modelers to have a complete representation of multi-relational (many-to-many) networks; hence, they are extremely suitable for analyzing and discovering more subtle dependencies in such data structures. Working with hypergraphs requires new software libraries that make it possible to perform operations on them, from basic algorithms (searching or traversing the network) to computing important hypergraph measures, to including more challenging algorithms (community detection). In this paper, we present a new software library, SimpleHypergraphs.jl, written in the Julia language and designed for high-performance computing on hypergraphs. We also present various approaches for hypergraph visualization that have been integrated into our tool. To demonstrate how the library can be exploited in practice, we discuss two case studies based on the 2019 Yelp Challenge dataset and the collaboration network built upon the Game of Thrones TV series. Results are promising and confirm the ability of hypergraphs to provide more insight than standard graph-based approaches.


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