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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Computer Science

First Advisor

Timothy C Havens


Fuzzy community detection is to identify fuzzy communities in a network, which are groups of vertices in the network such that the membership of a vertex in one community is in [0,1] and that the sum of memberships of vertices in all communities equals to 1. Fuzzy communities are pervasive in social networks, but only a few works have been done for fuzzy community detection. Recently, a one-step forward extension of Newman’s Modularity, the most popular quality function for disjoint community detection, results into the Generalized Modularity (GM) that demonstrates good performance in finding well-known fuzzy communities. Thus, GMis chosen as the quality function in our research. We first propose a generalized fuzzy t-norm modularity to investigate the effect of different fuzzy intersection operators on fuzzy community detection, since the introduction of a fuzzy intersection operation is made feasible by GM. The experimental results show that the Yager operator with a proper parameter value performs better than the product operator in revealing community structure. Then, we focus on how to find optimal fuzzy communities in a network by directly maximizing GM, which we call it Fuzzy Modularity Maximization (FMM) problem. The effort on FMM problem results into the major contribution of this thesis, an efficient and effective GM-based fuzzy community detection method that could automatically discover a fuzzy partition of a network when it is appropriate, which is much better than fuzzy partitions found by existing fuzzy community detection methods, and a crisp partition of a network when appropriate, which is competitive with partitions resulted from the best disjoint community detections up to now. We address FMM problem by iteratively solving a sub-problem called One-Step Modularity Maximization (OSMM). We present two approaches for solving this iterative procedure: a tree-based global optimizer called Find Best Leaf Node (FBLN) and a heuristic-based local optimizer. The OSMM problem is based on a simplified quadratic knapsack problem that can be solved in linear time; thus, a solution of OSMM can be found in linear time. Since the OSMM algorithm is called within FBLN recursively and the structure of the search tree is non-deterministic, we can see that the FMM/FBLN algorithm runs in a time complexity of at least O (n2). So, we also propose several highly efficient and very effective heuristic algorithms namely FMM/H algorithms. We compared our proposed FMM/H algorithms with two state-of-the-art community detection methods, modified MULTICUT Spectral Fuzzy c-Means (MSFCM) and Genetic Algorithm with a Local Search strategy (GALS), on 10 real-world data sets. The experimental results suggest that the H2 variant of FMM/H is the best performing version. The H2 algorithm is very competitive with GALS in producing maximum modularity partitions and performs much better than MSFCM. On all the 10 data sets, H2 is also 2-3 orders of magnitude faster than GALS. Furthermore, by adopting a simply modified version of the H2 algorithm as a mutation operator, we designed a genetic algorithm for fuzzy community detection, namely GAFCD, where elite selection and early termination are applied. The crossover operator is designed to make GAFCD converge fast and to enhance GAFCD’s ability of jumping out of local minimums. Experimental results on all the data sets show that GAFCD uncovers better community structure than GALS.