On the use of topological features and hierarchical characterization for disambiguating names in collaborative networks
Institute of Physics of São Carlos University of São Paulo - P. O. Box 369, Postal Code 13560-970 São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
Received: 10 May 2012
Accepted: 18 July 2012
Many features of complex systems can now be unveiled by applying statistical physics methods to treat them as social networks. The power of the analysis may be limited, however, by the presence of ambiguity in names, e.g., caused by homonymy in collaborative networks. In this paper we show that the ability to distinguish between homonymous authors is enhanced when longer-distance connections are considered, rather than looking at only the immediate neighbors of a node in the collaborative network. Optimized results were obtained upon using the 3rd hierarchy in connections. Furthermore, reasonable distinction among authors could also be achieved upon using pattern recognition strategies for the data generated from the topology of the collaborative network. These results were obtained with a network from papers in the arXiv repository, into which homonymy was deliberately introduced to test the methods with a controlled, reliable dataset. In all cases, several methods of supervised and unsupervised machine learning were used, leading to the same overall results. The suitability of using deeper hierarchies and network topology was confirmed with a real database of movie actors, with the additional finding that the distinguishing ability can be further enhanced by combining topology features and long-range connections in the collaborative network.
PACS: 89.75.Hc – Networks and genealogical trees / 02.50.Sk – Multivariate analysis / 89.20.Ff – Computer science and technology
© EPLA, 2012