We address the following foundational question: what is the population, and sample, Frechet mean (or median) graph of an ensemble of inhomogeneous Erdos-Renyi random graphs? We prove that if we use the Hamming distance to compute distances between graphs, then the Frechet mean (or median) graph of an ensemble of inhomogeneous random graphs is obtained by thresholding the expected adjacency matrix of the ensemble. We show that the result also holds for the sample mean (or median) when the population expected adjacency matrix is replaced with the sample mean adjacency matrix. Consequently, the Frechet mean (or median) graph of inhomogeneous Erdos-Renyi random graphs exhibits a sharp threshold: it is either the empty graph, or the complete graph. This novel theoretical result has some significant practical consequences; for instance, the Frechet mean of an ensemble of sparse inhomogeneous random graphs is always the empty graph.

Ferguson, Daniel, Meyer, Francois G.

To characterize the location (mean, median) of a set of graphs, one needs a notion of centrality that is adapted to metric spaces, since graph sets are not Euclidean spaces. A standard approach is to consider the Frechet mean. In this work, we equip a set of graphs with the pseudometric defined by the norm between the eigenvalues of their respective adjacency matrix. Unlike the edit distance, this pseudometric reveals structural changes at multiple scales, and is well adapted to studying various statistical problems for graph-valued data. We describe an algorithm to compute an approximation to the sample Frechet mean of a set of undirected unweighted graphs with a fixed size using this pseudometric.

One of the most fundamental concepts in statistics is the concept of sample mean. Properties of the sample mean that are well-defined in Euclidean spaces become unwieldy or even unclear in graph spaces. Open problems related to the sample mean of graphs include: non-existence, non-uniqueness, statistical inconsistency, lack of convergence results of mean algorithms, non-existence of midpoints, and disparity to midpoints. We present conditions to resolve all six problems and propose a Majorize-Minimize-Mean (MMM) Algorithm. Experiments on graph datasets representing images and molecules show that the MMM-Algorithm best approximates a sample mean of graphs compared to six other mean algorithms.

Ferguson, Daniel, Meyer, François G.

To characterize the location (mean, median) of a set of graphs, one needs a notion of centrality that is adapted to metric spaces, since graph sets are not Euclidean spaces. A standard approach is to consider the Fr\'echet mean. In this work, we equip a set of graph with the pseudometric defined by the $\ell_2$ norm between the eigenvalues of their respective adjacency matrix . Unlike the edit distance, this pseudometric reveals structural changes at multiple scales, and is well adapted to studying various statistical problems on sets of graphs. We describe an algorithm to compute an approximation to the Fr\'echet mean of a set of undirected unweighted graphs with a fixed size.

Martínez, Diego Hernán Díaz, Mémoli, Facundo, Mio, Washington

We introduce the notion of multiscale covariance tensor fields (CTF) associated with Euclidean random variables as a gateway to the shape of their distributions. Multiscale CTFs quantify variation of the data about every point in the data landscape at all spatial scales, unlike the usual covariance tensor that only quantifies global variation about the mean. Empirical forms of localized covariance previously have been used in data analysis and visualization, but we develop a framework for the systematic treatment of theoretical questions and computational models based on localized covariance. We prove strong stability theorems with respect to the Wasserstein distance between probability measures, obtain consistency results, as well as estimates for the rate of convergence of empirical CTFs. These results ensure that CTFs are robust to sampling, noise and outliers. We provide numerous illustrations of how CTFs let us extract shape from data and also apply CTFs to manifold clustering, the problem of categorizing data points according to their noisy membership in a collection of possibly intersecting, smooth submanifolds of Euclidean space. We prove that the proposed manifold clustering method is stable and carry out several experiments to validate the method.