Meka, Raghu, Jain, Prateek, Dhillon, Inderjit S.

The low-rank matrix completion problem is a fundamental problem with many important applications. Recently, [4],[13] and [5] obtained the first nontrivial theoretical results for the problem assuming that the observed entries are sampled uniformly at random. Unfortunately, most real-world datasets do not satisfy this assumption, but instead exhibit power-law distributed samples. In this paper, we propose a graph theoretic approach to matrix completion that solves the problem for more realistic sampling models. Our method is simpler to analyze than previous methodswith the analysis reducing to computing the threshold for complete cascades in random graphs, a problem of independent interest. By analyzing the graph theoretic problem, we show that our method achieves exact recovery when the observed entries are sampled from the Chung-Lu-Vu model, which can generate power-lawdistributed graphs. We also hypothesize that our algorithm solves the matrix completion problem from an optimal number of entries for the popular preferentialattachment model and provide strong empirical evidence for the claim. Furthermore, our method is easy to implement and is substantially faster than existing methods. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on random instanceswhere the low-rank matrix is sampled according to the prevalent random graph models for complex networks and present promising preliminary results on the Netflix challenge dataset.

Yun, Hyokun, Vishwanathan, S. V. N.

We describe the first sub-quadratic sampling algorithm for the Multiplicative Attribute Graph Model (MAGM) of Kim and Leskovec (2010). We exploit the close connection between MAGM and the Kronecker Product Graph Model (KPGM) of Leskovec et al. (2010), and show that to sample a graph from a MAGM it suffices to sample small number of KPGM graphs and \emph{quilt} them together. Under a restricted set of technical conditions our algorithm runs in $O((\log_2(n))^3 |E|)$ time, where $n$ is the number of nodes and $|E|$ is the number of edges in the sampled graph. We demonstrate the scalability of our algorithm via extensive empirical evaluation; we can sample a MAGM graph with 8 million nodes and 20 billion edges in under 6 hours.

Magner, Abram, Baranwal, Mayank, Hero, Alfred O. III

Graph convolutional networks (GCNs) are a widely used method for graph representation learning. We investigate the power of GCNs, as a function of their number of layers, to distinguish between different random graph models on the basis of the embeddings of their sample graphs. In particular, the graph models that we consider arise from graphons, which are the most general possible parameterizations of infinite exchangeable graph models and which are the central objects of study in the theory of dense graph limits. We exhibit an infinite class of graphons that are well-separated in terms of cut distance and are indistinguishable by a GCN with nonlinear activation functions coming from a certain broad class if its depth is at least logarithmic in the size of the sample graph, and furthermore show that, for this application, ReLU activation functions and non-identity weight matrices with non-negative entries do not help in terms of distinguishing power. These results theoretically match empirical observations of several prior works. Finally, we show that for pairs of graphons satisfying a degree profile separation property, a very simple GCN architecture suffices for distinguishability. To prove our results, we exploit a connection to random walks on graphs.

We derive the limiting distribution for the largest eigenvalues of the adjacency matrix for a stochastic blockmodel graph when the number of vertices tends to infinity. We show that, in the limit, these eigenvalues are jointly multivariate normal with bounded covariances. Our result extends the classic result of F\"{u}redi and Koml\'{o}s on the fluctuation of the largest eigenvalue for Erd\H{o}s-R\'{e}nyi graphs.

Charles, Zachary, Papailiopoulos, Dimitris, Ellenberg, Jordan

Distributed algorithms are often beset by the straggler effect, where the slowest compute nodes in the system dictate the overall running time. Coding-theoretic techniques have been recently proposed to mitigate stragglers via algorithmic redundancy. Prior work in coded computation and gradient coding has mainly focused on exact recovery of the desired output. However, slightly inexact solutions can be acceptable in applications that are robust to noise, such as model training via gradient-based algorithms. In this work, we present computationally simple gradient codes based on sparse graphs that guarantee fast and approximately accurate distributed computation. We demonstrate that sacrificing a small amount of accuracy can significantly increase algorithmic robustness to stragglers.