Given a geodesic space (E, d), we show that full ordinal knowledge on the metric d-i.e. knowledge of the function D d : (w, x, y, z) $\rightarrow$ 1 d(w,x)$\le$d(y,z) , determines uniquely-up to a constant factor-the metric d. For a subspace En of n points of E, converging in Hausdorff distance to E, we construct a metric dn on En, based only on the knowledge of D d on En and establish a sharp upper bound of the Gromov-Hausdorff distance between (En, dn) and (E, d).

Vayer, Titouan, Chapel, Laetita, Flamary, Rémi, Tavenard, Romain, Courty, Nicolas

Optimal transport theory has recently found many applications in machine learning thanks to its capacity for comparing various machine learning objects considered as distributions. The Kantorovitch formulation, leading to the Wasserstein distance, focuses on the features of the elements of the objects but treat them independently, whereas the Gromov-Wasserstein distance focuses only on the relations between the elements, depicting the structure of the object, yet discarding its features. In this paper we propose to extend these distances in order to encode simultaneously both the feature and structure informations, resulting in the Fused Gromov-Wasserstein distance. We develop the mathematical framework for this novel distance, prove its metric and interpolation properties and provide a concentration result for the convergence of finite samples. We also illustrate and interpret its use in various contexts where structured objects are involved.

Blumberg, Andrew J., Bhaumik, Prithwish, Walker, Stephen G.

We study the problem of distinguishing between two distributions on a metric space; i.e., given metric measure spaces $({\mathbb X}, d, \mu_1)$ and $({\mathbb X}, d, \mu_2)$, we are interested in the problem of determining from finite data whether or not $\mu_1$ is $\mu_2$. The key is to use pairwise distances between observations and, employing a reconstruction theorem of Gromov, we can perform such a test using a two sample Kolmogorov--Smirnov test. A real analysis using phylogenetic trees and flu data is presented.

Chowdhury, Samir, Mémoli, Facundo, Smith, Zane T.

Estimating optimal phylogenetic trees or hierarchical clustering trees from metric data is an important problem in evolutionary biology and data analysis. Intuitively, the goodness-of-fit of a metric space to a tree depends on its inherent treeness, as well as other metric properties such as intrinsic dimension. Existing algorithms for embedding metric spaces into tree metrics provide distortion bounds depending on cardinality. Because cardinality is a simple property of any set, we argue that such bounds do not fully capture the rich structure endowed by the metric. We consider an embedding of a metric space into a tree proposed by Gromov. By proving a stability result, we obtain an improved additive distortion bound depending only on the hyperbolicity and doubling dimension of the metric. We observe that Gromov's method is dual to the well-known single linkage hierarchical clustering (SLHC) method. By means of this duality, we are able to transport our results to the setting of SLHC, where such additive distortion bounds were previously unknown.

Xu, Hongteng, Luo, Dixin, Zha, Hongyuan, Carin, Lawrence

A novel Gromov-Wasserstein learning framework is proposed to jointly match (align) graphs and learn embedding vectors for the associated graph nodes. Using Gromov-Wasserstein discrepancy, we measure the dissimilarity between two graphs and find their correspondence, according to the learned optimal transport. The node embeddings associated with the two graphs are learned under the guidance of the optimal transport, the distance of which not only reflects the topological structure of each graph but also yields the correspondence across the graphs. These two learning steps are mutually-beneficial, and are unified here by minimizing the Gromov-Wasserstein discrepancy with structural regularizers. This framework leads to an optimization problem that is solved by a proximal point method. We apply the proposed method to matching problems in real-world networks, and demonstrate its superior performance compared to alternative approaches.