Finding Cliques in Social Networks: A New Distribution-Free Model

by   Jacob Fox, et al.

We propose a new distribution-free model of social networks. Our definitions are motivated by one of the most universal signatures of social networks, triadic closure---the property that pairs of vertices with common neighbors tend to be adjacent. Our most basic definition is that of a "c-closed" graph, where for every pair of vertices u,v with at least c common neighbors, u and v are adjacent. We study the classic problem of enumerating all maximal cliques, an important task in social network analysis. We prove that this problem is fixed-parameter tractable with respect to c on c-closed graphs. Our results carry over to "weakly c-closed graphs", which only require a vertex deletion ordering that avoids pairs of non-adjacent vertices with c common neighbors. Numerical experiments show that well-studied social networks tend to be weakly c-closed for modest values of c.


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