Hierarchical Clustering of Bipartite Networks Based on Multiobjective Optimization

Qing Cai, Jiming LIU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Complex network modeling is an elegant yet powerful tool to delineate complex systems. Hierarchical clustering of complex networks can readily facilitate our comprehension of the higher order organizations of complex systems. Among all the complex network models, bipartite network is an essential part. In this paper we present a multiobjective optimization based hierarchical clustering algorithm for bipartite networks. In doing so, we first devise a similarity index whereby a bipartite network is mapped into a monopartite network. We further put forward a multiobjective optimization model for monopartite network clustering. Finally we develop an agglomerative method for deriving the hierarchical tree structure of the original bipartite network. To evaluate the effectiveness of our proposed bottom-up hierarchical clustering algorithm, we carry out experiments on ten bipartite ecological networks. We also compare our algorithm with one state-of-the-art bipartite network clustering algorithm and one highly efficient hierarchical network clustering method. Experimental comparisons show the efficiency of our proposed algorithm for hierarchical clustering of bipartite networks. By further analyzing the hierarchical trees derived by our proposed algorithm we find that our obtained trees are biologically appealing and could have potential implications for species classification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8353468
Pages (from-to)421-434
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • bipartite networks
  • Ecological networks
  • hierarchical clustering
  • multiobjective optimization
  • species classification


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