We propose a novel framework for detecting, quantifying and visualizing changes between two snapshots of a dynamic network. Unlike existing approaches, which can be sensitive to minor and isolated changes, and are often based on heuristics, we show how a theoretically justified, inherently multi-scale notion of change, or distortion, can be defined and computed using spectral graph-theoretic tools. Our primary observation is that informative, robust and multi-scale measures of change can be obtained by computing a real-valued function (which we call the distortion function) on the nodes of the input graph, via the optimization of a pre-defined distortion energy in a provably optimal way. Based on extensive tests on a wide variety of networks, we demonstrate the ability of our approach to highlight the evolution of the network in an informative and multi-scale manner.
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