Machine Learning Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Center_Piece Subgraphs:
Problem Definition and Fast Solutions

Hanghang Tong, Christos Faloutsos

May 2006


Keywords: Center-piece subgraphc, goodness score, K_softAND

Given Q nodes in a social network (say, authorship network), how can we find the node/author that is the center-piece, and has direct or indirect connections to all, or most of them? For example, this node could be the common advisor, or someone who started the research area that the Q nodes belong to. Isomorphic scenarios appear in law enforcement (find the master-mind criminal, connected to all current suspects), gene regulatory networks (find the protein that participates in pathways with all or most of the given Q proteins), viral marketing and many more. Connection subgraphs is an important first step, handling the case of Q=2 query nodes. Then, the connection subgraph algorithm finds the b(say b=20) intermediate nodes, that provide a good connection between the two original query nodes. Here we generalize the challenge in multiple dimensions: First, we allow more than two query nodes. Second, we allow a whole family of queries, ranging from 'OR' to 'AND', with 'softAND' in-between. Finally, we design and compare a fast approximation, and study the quality/speed trade-off. The experiments on the DBLP dataset confirm that our proposed method naturally deals with multi-source queries and that the resulting subgraphs agree with our intuition.

22 pages

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