Conditional Network Embeddings

Bo Kang, Jefrey Lijffijt, Tijl De Bie

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Network Embeddings (NEs) map the nodes of a given network into $d$-dimensional Euclidean space $\mathbb{R}^d$. Ideally, this mapping is such that 'similar' nodes are mapped onto nearby points, such that the NE can be used for purposes such as link prediction (if 'similar' means being 'more likely to be connected') or classification (if 'similar' means 'being more likely to have the same label'). In recent years various methods for NE have been introduced, all following a similar strategy: defining a notion of similarity between nodes (typically some distance measure within the network), a distance measure in the embedding space, and a loss function that penalizes large distances for similar nodes and small distances for dissimilar nodes. A difficulty faced by existing methods is that certain networks are fundamentally hard to embed due to their structural properties: (approximate) multipartiteness, certain degree distributions, assortativity, etc. To overcome this, we introduce a conceptual innovation to the NE literature and propose to create \emph{Conditional Network Embeddings} (CNEs); embeddings that maximally add information with respect to given structural properties (e.g. node degrees, block densities, etc.). We use a simple Bayesian approach to achieve this, and propose a block stochastic gradient descent algorithm for fitting it efficiently. We demonstrate that CNEs are superior for link prediction and multi-label classification when compared to state-of-the-art methods, and this without adding significant mathematical or computational complexity. Finally, we illustrate the potential of CNE for network visualization.
  • Keywords: Network embedding, graph embedding, learning node representations, link prediction, multi-label classification of nodes
  • TL;DR: We introduce a network embedding method that accounts for prior information about the network, yielding superior empirical performance.
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