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Nonparametric weighted stochastic block models

Tiago P. Peixoto

posted on 08 August 2017

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We present a Bayesian formulation of weighted stochastic block models that can be used to infer the large-scale modular structure of weighted networks, including their hierarchical organization. Our method is nonparametric, and thus does not require the prior knowledge of the number of groups or other dimensions of the model, which are instead inferred from data. We give a comprehensive treatment of different kinds of edge weights (i.e. continuous or discrete, signed or unsigned, bounded or unbounded), as well as arbitrary weight transformations, and describe an unsupervised model selection approach to choose the best network description. We illustrate the application of our method to a variety of empirical weighted networks, such as global migrations, voting patterns in congress, and neural connections in the human brain.