The VLDB Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 221–241 | Cite as

A unified agent-based framework for constrained graph partitioning

  • Lefteris Ntaflos
  • George Trimponias
  • Dimitris PapadiasEmail author
Regular Paper


Social networks offer various services such as recommendations of social events, or delivery of targeted advertising material to certain users. In this work, we focus on a specific type of services modeled as constrained graph partitioning (CGP). CGP assigns users of a social network to a set of classes with bounded capacities so that the similarity and the social costs are minimized. The similarity cost is proportional to the dissimilarity between a user and his class, whereas the social cost is measured in terms of friends that are assigned to different classes. In this work, we investigate two solutions for CGP. The first utilizes a game-theoretic framework, where each user constitutes a player that wishes to minimize his own social and similarity cost. The second employs local search, and aims at minimizing the global cost. We show that the two approaches can be unified under a common agent-based framework that allows for two types of deviations. In a unilateral deviation, an agent switches to a new class, whereas in a bilateral deviation a pair of agents exchange their classes. We develop a number of optimization techniques to improve result quality and facilitate efficiency. Our experimental evaluation on real datasets demonstrates that the proposed methods always outperform the state of the art in terms of solution quality, while they are up to an order of magnitude faster.


Constrained graph partitioning Game theory Local search 



This work was supported by GRF grants 16207914 and 16231216 from Hong Kong RGC.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HKUSTClear Water BayHong Kong
  2. 2.Hong Kong Science ParkShatinHong Kong

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