Signed graph embedding: when everybody can sit closer to friends than enemies

Research paper by Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Christopher Thraves

Indexed on: 20 May '14Published on: 20 May '14Published in: Computer Science - Discrete Mathematics


Signed graphs are graphs with signed edges. They are commonly used to represent positive and negative relationships in social networks. While balance theory and clusterizable graphs deal with signed graphs to represent social interactions, recent empirical studies have proved that they fail to reflect some current practices in real social networks. In this paper we address the issue of drawing signed graphs and capturing such social interactions. We relax the previous assumptions to define a drawing as a model in which every vertex has to be placed closer to its neighbors connected via a positive edge than its neighbors connected via a negative edge in the resulting space. Based on this definition, we address the problem of deciding whether a given signed graph has a drawing in a given $\ell$-dimensional Euclidean space. We present forbidden patterns for signed graphs that admit the introduced definition of drawing in the Euclidean plane and line. We then focus on the $1$-dimensional case, where we provide a polynomial time algorithm that decides if a given complete signed graph has a drawing, and constructs it when applicable.