Community detection in directed weighted networks using Voronoi partitioning

Sci Rep. 2024 Apr 7;14(1):8124. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-58624-4.


Community detection is a ubiquitous problem in applied network analysis, however efficient techniques do not yet exist for all types of network data. Directed and weighted networks are an example, where the different information encoded by link weights and the possibly high graph density can cause difficulties for some approaches. Here we present an algorithm based on Voronoi partitioning generalized to deal with directed weighted networks. As an added benefit, this method can directly employ edge weights that represent lengths, in contrast to algorithms that operate with connection strengths, requiring ad-hoc transformations of length data. We demonstrate the method on inter-areal brain connectivity, air transportation networks, and several social networks. We compare the performance with several other well-known algorithms, applying them on a set of randomly generated benchmark networks. The algorithm can handle dense graphs where weights are the main factor determining communities. The hierarchical structure of networks can also be detected, as shown for the brain. Its time efficiency is comparable or even outperforms some of the state-of-the-art algorithms, the part with the highest time-complexity being Dijkstra's shortest paths algorithm ( O ( | E | + | V | log | V | ) ).