## Statistical Ranking and Combinatorial Hodge Theory

Citations: | 13 - 1 self |

### BibTeX

@MISC{Jiang_statisticalranking,

author = {Xiaoye Jiang and Lek-heng Lim and Yuan Yao and Yinyu Ye},

title = {Statistical Ranking and Combinatorial Hodge Theory},

year = {}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

Abstract. We propose a number of techniques for obtaining a global ranking from data that may be incomplete and imbalanced — characteristics that are almost universal to modern datasets coming from e-commerce and internet applications. We are primarily interested in cardinal data based on scores or ratings though our methods also give specific insights on ordinal data. From raw ranking data, we construct pairwise rankings, represented as edge flows on an appropriate graph. Our statistical ranking method exploits the graph Helmholtzian, which is the graph theoretic analogue of the Helmholtz operator or vector Laplacian, in much the same way the graph Laplacian is an analogue of the Laplace operator or scalar Laplacian. We shall study the graph Helmholtzian using combinatorial Hodge theory, which provides a way to unravel ranking information from edge flows. In particular, we show that every edge flow representing pairwise ranking can be resolved into two orthogonal components, a gradient flow that represents the l2-optimal global ranking and a divergence-free flow (cyclic) that measures the validity of the global ranking