Alonso, Roberto, Günnemann, Stephan

Mining dense quasi-cliques is a well-known clustering task with applications ranging from social networks over collaboration graphs to document analysis. Recent work has extended this task to multiple graphs; i.e. the goal is to find groups of vertices highly dense among multiple graphs. In this paper, we argue that in a multi-graph scenario the sparsity is valuable for knowledge extraction as well. We introduce the concept of contrasting quasi-clique patterns: a collection of vertices highly dense in one graph but highly sparse (i.e. less connected) in a second graph. Thus, these patterns specifically highlight the difference/contrast between the considered graphs. Based on our novel model, we propose an algorithm that enables fast computation of contrasting patterns by exploiting intelligent traversal and pruning techniques. We showcase the potential of contrasting patterns on a variety of synthetic and real-world datasets.

Stern, Roni Tzvi (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) | Kalech, Meir (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) | Felner, Ariel (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)

Agents that solve problems in unknown graphs are usually required to iteratively explore parts of the graph. In this paper we research the problem of finding a k-clique in an unknown graph while minimizing the number of required exploration actions. Two novel heuristics Known Degree and Clique* are proposed to reduce the required exploration cost by carefully choosing which part of the environment to explore. We further investigate the problem by adding probabilistic knowledge of the graph and propose an Markov Decision Process(MDP) and a Monte Carlo based heuristic (RClique*) that uses knowledge of edge probabilities to reduce the required exploration cost. We demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed approaches on simulated random and scale free graphs as well as on real online web crawls.

Massara, Guido Previde, Aste, Tomaso

We propose a topological learning algorithm for the estimation of the conditional dependency structure of large sets of random variables from sparse and noisy data. The algorithm, named Maximally Filtered Clique Forest (MFCF), produces a clique forest and an associated Markov Random Field (MRF) by generalising Prim's minimum spanning tree algorithm. To the best of our knowledge, the MFCF presents three elements of novelty with respect to existing structure learning approaches. The first is the repeated application of a local topological move, the clique expansion, that preserves the decomposability of the underlying graph. Through this move the decomposability and calculation of scores is performed incrementally at the variable (rather than edge) level, and this provides better computational performance and an intuitive application of multivariate statistical tests. The second is the capability to accommodate a variety of score functions and, while this paper is focused on multivariate normal distributions, it can be directly generalised to different types of statistics. Finally, the third is the variable range of allowed clique sizes which is an adjustable topological constraint that acts as a topological penalizer providing a way to tackle sparsity at $l_0$ semi-norm level; this allows a clean decoupling of structure learning and parameter estimation. The MFCF produces a representation of the clique forest, together with a perfect ordering of the cliques and a perfect elimination ordering for the vertices. As an example we propose an application to covariance selection models and we show that the MCFC outperforms the Graphical Lasso for a number of classes of matrices.

Chow and Liu (1968) studied the problem of learning a maximumlikelihood Markov tree. We generalize their work to more complexMarkov networks by considering the problem of learning a maximumlikelihood Markov network of bounded complexity. We discuss howtree-width is in many ways the appropriate measure of complexity andthus analyze the problem of learning a maximum likelihood Markovnetwork of bounded tree-width.Similar to the work of Chow and Liu, we are able to formalize thelearning problem as a combinatorial optimization problem on graphs. Weshow that learning a maximum likelihood Markov network of boundedtree-width is equivalent to finding a maximum weight hypertree. Thisequivalence gives rise to global, integer-programming based,approximation algorithms with provable performance guarantees, for thelearning problem. This contrasts with heuristic local-searchalgorithms which were previously suggested (e.g. by Malvestuto 1991).The equivalence also allows us to study the computational hardness ofthe learning problem. We show that learning a maximum likelihoodMarkov network of bounded tree-width is NP-hard, and discuss thehardness of approximation.

Taskar, Ben, Abbeel, Pieter, Koller, Daphne

In many supervised learning tasks, the entities to be labeled are related to each other in complex ways and their labels are not independent. For example, in hypertext classification, the labels of linked pages are highly correlated. A standard approach is to classify each entity independently, ignoring the correlations between them. Recently, Probabilistic Relational Models, a relational version of Bayesian networks, were used to define a joint probabilistic model for a collection of related entities. In this paper, we present an alternative framework that builds on (conditional) Markov networks and addresses two limitations of the previous approach. First, undirected models do not impose the acyclicity constraint that hinders representation of many important relational dependencies in directed models. Second, undirected models are well suited for discriminative training, where we optimize the conditional likelihood of the labels given the features, which generally improves classification accuracy. We show how to train these models effectively, and how to use approximate probabilistic inference over the learned model for collective classification of multiple related entities. We provide experimental results on a webpage classification task, showing that accuracy can be significantly improved by modeling relational dependencies.