In social networks, link prediction predicts missing links in current networks and new or dissolution links in future networks, is important for mining and analyzing the evolution of social networks. In the past decade, many works have been done about the link prediction in social networks. The goal of this paper is to comprehensively review, analyze and discuss the state-of-the-art of the link prediction in social networks. A systematical category for link prediction techniques and problems is presented. Then link prediction techniques and problems are analyzed and discussed. Typical applications of link prediction are also addressed. Achievements and roadmaps of some active research groups are introduced. Finally, some future challenges of the link prediction in social networks are discussed.
The organization of real networks usually embodies both regularities and irregularities, and, in principle, the former can be modeled. The extent to which the formation of a network can be explained coincides with our ability to predict missing links. To understand network organization, we should be able to estimate link predictability. We assume that the regularity of a network is reflected in the consistency of structural features before and after a random removal of a small set of links. Based on the perturbation of the adjacency matrix, we propose a universal structural consistency index that is free of prior knowledge of network organization. Extensive experiments on disparate real-world networks demonstrate that (i) structural consistency is a good estimation of link predictability and (ii) a derivative algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art link prediction methods in both accuracy and robustness. This analysis has further applications in evaluating link prediction algorithms and monitoring sudden changes in evolving network mechanisms. It will provide unique fundamental insights into the above-mentioned academic research fields, and will foster the development of advanced information filtering technologies of interest to information technology practitioners.
Networks have become increasingly important to model complex systems composed of interacting elements. Network data mining has a large number of applications in many disciplines including protein-protein interaction networks, social networks, transportation networks, and telecommunication networks. Different empirical studies have shown that it is possible to predict new relationships between elements attending to the topology of the network and the properties of its elements. The problem of predicting new relationships in networks is called link prediction. Link prediction aims to infer the behavior of the network link formation process by predicting missed or future relationships based on currently observed connections. It has become an attractive area of study since it allows us to predict how networks will evolve. In this survey, we will review the general-purpose techniques at the heart of the link prediction problem, which can be complemented by domain-specific heuristic methods in practice.
Existing social networking services recommend friends to users based on their social graphs, which may not be the most appropriate to reflect a user's preferences on friend selection in real life. In this paper, we present Friendbook, a novel semantic-based friend recommendation system for social networks, which recommends friends to users based on their life styles instead of social graphs. By taking advantage of sensor-rich smartphones, Friendbook discovers life styles of users from user-centric sensor data, measures the similarity of life styles between users, and recommends friends to users if their life styles have high similarity. Inspired by text mining, we model a user's daily life as life documents, from which his/her life styles are extracted by using the Latent Dirichlet Allocation algorithm. We further propose a similarity metric to measure the similarity of life styles between users, and calculate users' impact in terms of life styles with a friend-matching graph. Upon receiving a request, Friendbook returns a list of people with highest recommendation scores to the query user. Finally, Friendbook integrates a feedback mechanism to further improve the recommendation accuracy. We have implemented Friendbook on the Android-based smartphones, and evaluated its performance on both small-scale experiments and large-scale simulations. The results show that the recommendations accurately reflect the preferences of users in choosing friends.
Many real world, complex phenomena have underlying structures of evolving networks where nodes and links are added and removed over time. A central scientific challenge is the description and explanation of network dynamics, with a key test being the prediction of short and long term changes. For the problem of short-term link prediction, existing methods attempt to determine neighborhood metrics that correlate with the appearance of a link in the next observation period. Recent work has suggested that the incorporation of topological features and node attributes can improve link prediction. We provide an approach to predicting future links by applying the Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy (CMA-ES) to optimize weights which are used in a linear combination of sixteen neighborhood and node similarity indices. We examine a large dynamic social network with over 106 nodes (Twitter reciprocal reply networks), both as a test of our general method and as a problem of scientific interest in itself. Our method exhibits fast convergence and high levels of precision for the top twenty predicted links. Based on our findings, we suggest possible factors which may be driving the evolution of Twitter reciprocal reply networks.