Why did the shape of your network change? (On detecting network anomalies via non-local curvatures)

08/16/2018 ∙ by Bhaskar DasGupta, et al. ∙ 0

Anomaly detection problems (also called change-point detection problems) have been studied in data mining, statistics and computer science over the last several decades (mostly in non-network context) in applications such as medical condition monitoring, weather change detection and speech recognition. In recent days, however, anomaly detection problems have become increasing more relevant in the context of network science since useful insights for many complex systems in biology, finance and social science are often obtained by representing them via networks. Notions of local and non-local curvatures of higher-dimensional geometric shapes and topological spaces play a fundamental role in physics and mathematics in characterizing anomalous behaviours of these higher dimensional entities. However, using curvature measures to detect anomalies in networks is not yet very common. To this end, a main goal in this paper to formulate and analyze curvature analysis methods to provide the foundations of systematic approaches to find critical components and detect anomalies in networks. For this purpose, we use two measures of network curvatures which depend on non-trivial global properties, such as distributions of geodesics and higher-order correlations among nodes, of the given network. Based on these measures, we precisely formulate several computational problems related to anomaly detection in static or dynamic networks, and provide non-trivial computational complexity results for these problems. This paper must not be viewed as delivering the final word on appropriateness and suitability of specific curvature measures. Instead, it is our hope that this paper will stimulate and motivate further theoretical or empirical research concerning the exciting interplay between notions of curvatures from network and non-network domains, a much desired goal in our opinion.

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