Title: Identifiability and consistency of network inference using the hub model and variants
Authors: Yunpeng Zhao - Arizona State University (United States) [presenting]
Abstract: Statistical network analysis primarily focuses on inferring the parameters of an observed network. In many applications, especially in the social sciences, the observed data is the groups formed by individual subjects. In these applications, the network is itself a parameter of a statistical model. A model-based approach, called the hub model, has been recently proposed to infer implicit networks from grouping behavior. The hub model assumes that each member of the group is brought together by a member of the group called the hub. The hub model belongs to the family of Bernoulli mixture models. Identifiability of parameters is a notoriously difficult problem for Bernoulli mixture models. We prove identifiability of the hub model parameters and estimation consistency under mild conditions. Furthermore, we generalize the hub model by introducing a model component that allows hubless groups in which individual nodes spontaneously appear independent of any other individual. We refer to this additional component as the null component. The new model bridges the gap between the hub model and the degenerate case of the mixture model -- the Bernoulli product. Identifiability and consistency are also proved for the new model. Numerical studies are provided to demonstrate the theoretical results.