Network-Based Delineation of Health Service Areas: A Comparative Analysis of Community Detection Algorithms

Diego Pinheiro, Ryan Hartman, Erick Romero, Ronaldo Menezes, Martin Cadeiras

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A Health Service Area (HSA) is a group of geographic regions served by similar health care facilities. The delineation of HSAs plays a pivotal role in the characterization of health care services available in an area, enabling better planning and regulation of health care services. Though Dartmouth HSAs have been the standard delineation for decades, previous work has recently shown an improved HSA delineation using a network-based approach, in which HSAs are the communities extracted by the Louvain algorithm in hospital-patient discharge networks. Given the known heterogeneity of communities extracted by different community detection algorithms, a comparative analysis of community detection algorithms for optimal HSA delineation is lacking. In this work, we compared HSA delineations produced by community detection algorithms using a large-scale dataset containing different types of hospital-patient discharges spanning a 7-year period in the USA. Our results replicated the heterogeneity among community detection algorithms found in previous works, the improved HSA delineation obtained by a network-based, and suggested that Infomap may be a more suitable community detection for HSA delineation since it finds a high number of HSAs with high localization index and a low network conductance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComplex Networks XI - Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Complex Networks, CompleNet 2020
EditorsHugo Barbosa, Ronaldo Menezes, Jesus Gomez-Gardenes, Bruno Gonçalves, Giuseppe Mangioni, Marcos Oliveira
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030409425
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Event11th International Conference on Complex Networks, CompleNet 2020 - Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: Mar 31 2020Apr 3 2020

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
ISSN (Print)2213-8684
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8692


Conference11th International Conference on Complex Networks, CompleNet 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Community detection algorithms
  • Health Service Area
  • Hospital-Patient Discharge Networks
  • HSA delineation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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