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Title: Fast network community detection with profile-pseudo likelihood methods Authors:  Ji Zhu - University of Michigan (United States) [presenting]
Abstract: The stochastic block model is one of the most studied network models for community detection. It is well-known that most algorithms proposed for fitting the stochastic block model likelihood function cannot scale to large-scale networks. This computational challenge has been previously addressed with a fast pseudo-likelihood approach for fitting stochastic block models to large sparse networks. However, this approach does not have convergence guarantee and is not well suited for small- or medium-scale networks. We propose a novel likelihood-based approach that decouples row and column labels in the likelihood function, which enables a fast alternating maximization; the new method is computationally efficient, performs well for both small and large scale networks, and has provable convergence guarantee. We show that our method provides strongly consistent estimates of the communities in a stochastic block model. As demonstrated in simulation studies, the proposed method outperforms the pseudo-likelihood approach in terms of both estimation accuracy and computation efficiency, especially for large sparse networks. We further consider extensions of our proposed method to handle networks with degree heterogeneity and bipartite properties.