A framework for analysing dynamic communities in large-scale social networks

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Vítor Manuel Cerqueira
Márcia Barbosa Oliveira
João Gama
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Telecommunications companies must process large-scale social networks that reveal the communication patterns among their customers. These networks are dynamic in nature as new customers appear, old customers leave, and the interaction among customers changes over time. One way to uncover the evolution patterns of such entities is by monitoring the evolution of the communities they belong to. Large-scale networks typically comprise thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of communities and not all of them are worth monitoring, or interesting from the business perspective. Several methods have been proposed for tracking the evolution of groups of entities in dynamic networks but these methods lack strategies to effectively extract knowledge and insight from the analysis. In this paper we tackle this problem by proposing an integrated business-oriented framework to track and interpret the evolution of communities in very large networks. The framework encompasses several steps such as network sampling, community detection, community selection, monitoring of dynamic communities and rule-based interpretation of community evolutionary profiles. The usefulness of the proposed framework is illustrated using a real-world large-scale social network from a major telecommunications company.