Multilevel Network Alignment

Si Zhang, Hanghang Tong, Ross Maciejewski, and Tina Eliassi-Rad
WWW '18: Proceedings of the 2018 World Wide Web Conference
Pages 2344–2354


Network alignment, which aims to find the node correspondence across multiple networks, is a fundamental task in many areas, ranging from social network analysis to adversarial activity detection. The state-of-the-art in the data mining community often view the node correspondence as a probabilistic cross-network node similarity, and thus inevitably introduce an O(n2) lower bound on the computational complexity. Moreover, they might ignore the rich patterns (e.g., clusters) accompanying the real networks. In this paper, we propose a multilevel network alignment algorithm (Moana) which consists of three key steps. It first efficiently coarsens the input networks into their structured representations, and then aligns the coarsest representations of the input networks, followed by the interpolations to obtain the alignment at multiple levels including the node level at the finest granularity. The proposed coarsen-align-interpolate method bears two key advantages. First, it overcomes the O(n2) lower bound, achieving a linear complexity. Second, it helps reveal the alignment between rich patterns of the input networks at multiple levels (e.g., node, clusters, super-clusters, etc.). Extensive experimental evaluations demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed algorithm on both the node-level alignment and the alignment among rich patterns (e.g., clusters) at different granularities.

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