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Imre Derenyi
Department of Biological Physics
Eotvos University

Uncovering the Overlapping Community Structure of Complex Networks in Nature and Society

Many complex systems in nature and society can be described in terms of networks capturing the intricate web of connections among the units (proteins, genes, people, etc.) they are made of.  A question of great current interest is how to interpret the global organization of such networks as the coexistence of their structural sub-units (communities) associated with more densely interconnected groups of nodes.  Identifying these communities is crucial to the understanding of the structural and functional properties of networks.  The existing methods used for large networks find separated communities, however, in most real networks the communities are believed to overlap with each other at a great extent.  Here we introduce a new approach to determine the interwoven sets of overlapping communities of large real networks [1].  Among other examples, we demonstrate the power of our method by identifying the communities of proteins in the protein-protein interaction network of yeast, which then, for example, allows us to make predictions for yet unknown functions of some proteins.

[1] G. Palla, I. Derenyi, I. Farkas, and T. Vicsek, Nature 435, 814 (2005).

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