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Uncovering missing links with cold ends


  • Zhu, Yu-Xiao
  • Lü, Linyuan
  • Zhang, Qian-Ming
  • Zhou, Tao


To evaluate the performance of prediction of missing links, the known data are randomly divided into two parts, the training set and the probe set. We argue that this straightforward and standard method may lead to terrible bias, since in real biological and information networks, missing links are more likely to be links connecting low-degree nodes. We therefore study how to uncover missing links with low-degree nodes, namely links in the probe set are of lower degree products than a random sampling. Experimental analysis on ten local similarity indices and four disparate real networks reveals a surprising result that the Leicht–Holme–Newman index [E.A. Leicht, P. Holme, M.E.J. Newman, Vertex similarity in networks, Phys. Rev. E 73 (2006) 026120] performs the best, although it was known to be one of the worst indices if the probe set is a random sampling of all links. We further propose an parameter-dependent index, which considerably improves the prediction accuracy. Finally, we show the relevance of the proposed index to three real sampling methods: acquaintance sampling, random-walk sampling and path-based sampling.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhu, Yu-Xiao & Lü, Linyuan & Zhang, Qian-Ming & Zhou, Tao, 2012. "Uncovering missing links with cold ends," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(22), pages 5769-5778.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:391:y:2012:i:22:p:5769-5778
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2012.06.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lü, Linyuan & Zhou, Tao, 2011. "Link prediction in complex networks: A survey," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 390(6), pages 1150-1170.
    2. Tao Zhou & Linyuan Lü & Yi-Cheng Zhang, 2009. "Predicting missing links via local information," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 71(4), pages 623-630, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liao, Hao & Zeng, An & Zhang, Yi-Cheng, 2015. "Predicting missing links via correlation between nodes," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 436(C), pages 216-223.
    2. Zhang, Xue & Wang, Xiaojie & Zhao, Chengli & Yi, Dongyun & Xie, Zheng, 2014. "Degree-corrected stochastic block models and reliability in networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 393(C), pages 553-559.
    3. Liu, Jin-Hu & Zhu, Yu-Xiao & Zhou, Tao, 2016. "Improving personalized link prediction by hybrid diffusion," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 447(C), pages 199-207.
    4. Yu, Fei & Zeng, An & Gillard, Sébastien & Medo, Matúš, 2016. "Network-based recommendation algorithms: A review," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 452(C), pages 192-208.
    5. Wu, Tao & Chen, Leiting & Zhong, Linfeng & Xian, Xingping, 2017. "Predicting the evolution of complex networks via similarity dynamics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 465(C), pages 662-672.


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