Monitoring Network Evolution Using MDL
Source: Carnegie Mellon University
Given publication titles and authors, what can one say about the evolution of scientific topics and communities over time? Which communities shrunk, which emerged, and which split, over time? And, when in time were the turning points? The paper proposes TimeFall, which can automatically answer these questions given a social network/graph that evolves over time. The main novelty of the proposed approach is that it needs no user-defined parameters, relying instead on the principle of Minimum Description Length (MDL), to extract the communities, and to find good cut-points in time when communities change abruptly: a cut-point is good, if it leads to shorter data description.