Local clustering via approximate heat kernel PageRank with subgraph sampling

Zhenqi Lu, Johan Wahlström, Arye Nehorai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Graph clustering, a fundamental technique in network science for understanding structures in complex systems, presents inherent problems. Though studied extensively in the literature, graph clustering in large systems remains particularly challenging because massive graphs incur a prohibitively large computational load. The heat kernel PageRank provides a quantitative ranking of nodes, and a local cluster can be efficiently found by performing a sweep over the heat kernel PageRank vector. But computing an exact heat kernel PageRank vector may be expensive, and approximate algorithms are often used instead. Most approximate algorithms compute the heat kernel PageRank vector on the whole graph, and thus are dependent on global structures. In this paper, we present an algorithm for approximating the heat kernel PageRank on a local subgraph. Moreover, we show that the number of computations required by the proposed algorithm is sublinear in terms of the expected size of the local cluster of interest, and that it provides a good approximation of the heat kernel PageRank, with approximation errors bounded by a probabilistic guarantee. Numerical experiments verify that the local clustering algorithm using our approximate heat kernel PageRank achieves state-of-the-art performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15786
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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