Kernels for structured data are commonly obtained by decomposing objects into their parts and adding up the similarities between all pairs of parts measured by a base kernel. Assignment kernels are based on an optimal bijection between the parts and have proven to be an effective alternative to the established convolution kernels. We explore how the base kernel can be learned as part of the classification problem. We build on the theory of valid assignment kernels derived from hierarchies defined on the parts. We show that the weights of this hierarchy can be optimized via multiple kernel learning. We apply this result to learn vertex similarities for the Weisfeiler-Lehman optimal assignment kernel for graph classification. We present first experimental results which demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the approach.

Sugiyama, Mahito, Borgwardt, Karsten

Random walk kernels measure graph similarity by counting matching walks in two graphs. In their most popular form of geometric random walk kernels, longer walks of length $k$ are downweighted by a factor of $\lambda^k$ ($\lambda < 1$) to ensure convergence of the corresponding geometric series. We know from the field of link prediction that this downweighting often leads to a phenomenon referred to as halting: Longer walks are downweighted so much that the similarity score is completely dominated by the comparison of walks of length 1. This is a naive kernel between edges and vertices. We theoretically show that halting may occur in geometric random walk kernels. We also empirically quantify its impact in simulated datasets and popular graph classification benchmark datasets. Our findings promise to be instrumental in future graph kernel development and applications of random walk kernels.

Borovitskiy, Viacheslav, Azangulov, Iskander, Terenin, Alexander, Mostowsky, Peter, Deisenroth, Marc Peter, Durrande, Nicolas

Gaussian processes are a versatile framework for learning unknown functions in a manner that permits one to utilize prior information about their properties. Although many different Gaussian process models are readily available when the input space is Euclidean, the choice is much more limited for Gaussian processes whose input space is an undirected graph. In this work, we leverage the stochastic partial differential equation characterization of Mat\'{e}rn Gaussian processes - a widely-used model class in the Euclidean setting - to study their analog for undirected graphs. We show that the resulting Gaussian processes inherit various attractive properties of their Euclidean and Riemannian analogs and provide techniques that allow them to be trained using standard methods, such as inducing points. This enables graph Mat\'{e}rn Gaussian processes to be employed in mini-batch and non-conjugate settings, thereby making them more accessible to practitioners and easier to deploy within larger learning frameworks.

Kriege, Nils M., Giscard, Pierre-Louis, Wilson, Richard C.

The success of kernel methods has initiated the design of novel positive semidefinite functions, in particular for structured data. A leading design paradigm for this is the convolution kernel, which decomposes structured objects into their parts and sums over all pairs of parts. Assignment kernels, in contrast, are obtained from an optimal bijection between parts, which can provide a more valid notion of similarity. In general however, optimal assignments yield indefinite functions, which complicates their use in kernel methods. We characterize a class of base kernels used to compare parts that guarantees positive semidefinite optimal assignment kernels. These base kernels give rise to hierarchies from which the optimal assignment kernels are computed in linear time by histogram intersection. We apply these results by developing the Weisfeiler-Lehman optimal assignment kernel for graphs. It provides high classification accuracy on widely-used benchmark data sets improving over the original Weisfeiler-Lehman kernel.

Kriege, Nils M., Giscard, Pierre-Louis, Wilson, Richard