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Cascading Detection


Python 3 implementation of the cascading detection algorithm presented in

A Shadowing Problem in the Detection of Overlapping Communities: Lifting the Resolution Limit through a Cascading Procedure

Jean-Gabriel Young, Antoine Allard, Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, Louis J. Dubé

PLoS ONE 10, e0140133 (2015)


First time user should setup the output directories and compile detection algorithm binaries. A python script is provided for convenience:

python -c path/to/configuration.yml

cascading_detection is not configured by default, and a configuration.yml file should therefore be created first. The repository contains an example configuration file (see conf/example_configuration.yml).

temporary_dir : "/home/USER/WORKING_DIR/"
result_dir : "/home/USER/WORKING_DIR/RESULTS"
cpp_compiler : "g++"
compiler_flag : "-o3"
  • temporary_dir is the working directory. It will hold intermediate result files that will be deleted if the program exits cleanly. Manual cleanup may be required if an early termination signal is received.
  • result_dir is the base directory to which results will be outputted.
  • cpp_compiler and compiler_flag allows for compiler and compiler options changes.

The program

python -e EDGE_LIST -o BASE -a AGLO

can then run out of the box.

  • BASE defines the output directory. The complete path is $result_dir/BASE. $result_dir should be set in configuration.yml.
  • ALGO is the name of the algorithm that will be applied iteratively. Currently, only CPA, GCE and LCA are supported.
  • EDGE_LIST is a text file containing an undirected edge list.

We use a simple format for edge lists, namely not necessarily contiguous integers, delimited by any whitespace, e.g.

2 4
3 2
3 7
1 4

Some examples are provided in the edgelist/ directory.

Three additional flags are also provided:

  • -l (optional) sets the log file path. It is defaulted to cascading.log in the current working directory.
  • -u (optional) sets a unique ID which is appended to the path of temporary files. This prevents file name collisions when multiple instance of are running concurrently.
  • -C (optional) indicates that millisecond precision timing is necessary (for benchmark purposes). Running time information will appear in the logfile.

Important notes

  • Algorithms are applied as prescribed by the original authors, but parameters can be tweaked by modifying the configuration files in sub-module directories (e.g. cdtools/LCA/LCA_conf.yml)
  • Edges must only appear once (e.g. EDGE_LIST must not contain a link and its inverse).
  • ALGO should be one of the following supported algorithm: CPA, LCA, or GCE.
  • 32 bit and 64 bit CFinder binaries are both provided. Configure the algorithm accordingly in cdtools/CPA/CPA_conf.yml (defaulted to 64).


cascading_detection is distributed under the MIT License except for submodules, which are distributed under their original licences (see COPYING for more details).

CFinder requires a non-profit license to operate properly. It is not provided with cascading_detection for obvious reasons. Please obtain a license from and configure cdtools/CPA/CPA_conf.yml accordingly.

Closing note

This software is designed with extensibility in mind. Feel free to add support for new algorithms by creating sub-modules in the the cdtools package.


Python implementation of the cascading detection algorithm





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