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Using Social Network Information in Bayesian Truth Discovery

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We investigate the problem of truth discovery based on opinions from multiple agents who may be unreliable or biased. We consider the case where agents' reliabilities or biases are correlated if they belong to the same community, which defines a group of agents with similar opinions regarding a particular event. An agent can belong to different communities for different events, and these communities are unknown \emph{a priori}. We incorporate knowledge of the agents' social network in our truth discovery framework and develop Laplace variational inference methods to estimate agents' reliabilities, communities, and the event states. We also develop a stochastic variational inference method to scale our model to large social networks. Simulations and experiments on real data suggest that when observations are sparse, our proposed methods perform better than several other inference methods, including majority voting, the popular Bayesian Classifier Combination (BCC) method, and the Community BCC method.


Bayesian Modelling of Community-Based Multidimensional Trust in Participatory Sensing under Data Sparsity

AAAI Conferences

We propose a new Bayesian model for reliable aggregatio of crowdsourced estimates of real-valued quantities in participatory sensing applications. Existing approaches focus on probabilistic modelling of user’s reliability as the key to accurate aggregation. However, these are either limited to estimating discrete quantities, or require a significant number of reports from each user to accurately model their reliability. To mitigate these issues, we adopt a community-based approach, which reduces the data required to reliably aggregate real-valued estimates, by leveraging correlations between the reporting behaviour of users belonging to different communities. As a result, our method is up to 16.6% more accurate than existing state-of-the-art methods and is up to 49% more effective under data sparsity when used to estimate Wi-Fi hotspot locations in a real-world crowdsourcing application.


Combining Restricted Boltzmann Machines with Neural Networks for Latent Truth Discovery

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Latent truth discovery, LTD for short, refers to the problem of aggregating ltiple claims from various sources in order to estimate the plausibility of atements about entities. In the absence of a ground truth, this problem is highly challenging, when some sources provide conflicting claims and others no claims at all. In this work we provide an unsupervised stochastic inference procedure on top of a model that combines restricted Boltzmann machines with feed-forward neural networks to accurately infer the reliability of sources as well as the plausibility of statements about entities. In comparison to prior work our approach stands out (1) by allowing the incorporation of arbitrary features about sources and claims, (2) by generalizing from reliability per source towards a reliability function, and thus (3) enabling the estimation of source reliability even for sources that have provided no or very few claims, (4) by building on efficient and scalable stochastic inference algorithms, and (5) by outperforming the state-of-the-art by a considerable margin.


A Survey of Community Detection Approaches: From Statistical Modeling to Deep Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Community detection, a fundamental task for network analysis, aims to partition a network into multiple sub-structures to help reveal their latent functions. Community detection has been extensively studied in and broadly applied to many real-world network problems. Classical approaches to community detection typically utilize probabilistic graphical models and adopt a variety of prior knowledge to infer community structures. As the problems that network methods try to solve and the network data to be analyzed become increasingly more sophisticated, new approaches have also been proposed and developed, particularly those that utilize deep learning and convert networked data into low dimensional representation. Despite all the recent advancement, there is still a lack of insightful understanding of the theoretical and methodological underpinning of community detection, which will be critically important for future development of the area of network analysis. In this paper, we develop and present a unified architecture of network community-finding methods to characterize the state-of-the-art of the field of community detection. Specifically, we provide a comprehensive review of the existing community detection methods and introduce a new taxonomy that divides the existing methods into two categories, namely probabilistic graphical model and deep learning. We then discuss in detail the main idea behind each method in the two categories. Furthermore, to promote future development of community detection, we release several benchmark datasets from several problem domains and highlight their applications to various network analysis tasks. We conclude with discussions of the challenges of the field and suggestions of possible directions for future research.


Stochastic Blockmodels meet Graph Neural Networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Stochastic blockmodels (SBM) and their variants, $e.g.$, mixed-membership and overlapping stochastic blockmodels, are latent variable based generative models for graphs. They have proven to be successful for various tasks, such as discovering the community structure and link prediction on graph-structured data. Recently, graph neural networks, $e.g.$, graph convolutional networks, have also emerged as a promising approach to learn powerful representations (embeddings) for the nodes in the graph, by exploiting graph properties such as locality and invariance. In this work, we unify these two directions by developing a \emph{sparse} variational autoencoder for graphs, that retains the interpretability of SBMs, while also enjoying the excellent predictive performance of graph neural nets. Moreover, our framework is accompanied by a fast recognition model that enables fast inference of the node embeddings (which are of independent interest for inference in SBM and its variants). Although we develop this framework for a particular type of SBM, namely the \emph{overlapping} stochastic blockmodel, the proposed framework can be adapted readily for other types of SBMs. Experimental results on several benchmarks demonstrate encouraging results on link prediction while learning an interpretable latent structure that can be used for community discovery.