Spectral modification of graphs for improved spectral clustering

Ioannis Koutis, Huong Le

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Spectral clustering algorithms provide approximate solutions to hard optimization problems that formulate graph partitioning in terms of the graph conductance. It is well understood that the quality of these approximate solutions is negatively affected by a possibly significant gap between the conductance and the second eigenvalue of the graph. In this paper we show that for any graph G, there exists a 'spectral maximizer' graph H which is cut-similar to G, but has eigenvalues that are near the theoretical limit implied by the cut structure of G. Applying then spectral clustering on H has the potential to produce improved cuts that also exist in G due to the cut similarity. This leads to the second contribution of this work: we describe a practical spectral modification algorithm that raises the eigenvalues of the input graph, while preserving its cuts. Combined with spectral clustering on the modified graph, this yields demonstrably improved cuts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2019 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Dec 8 2019Dec 14 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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