PANE: scalable and effective attributed network embedding

Renchi Yang, Jieming Shi, Xiaokui Xiao, Yin Yang, Sourav S. Bhowmick*, Juncheng Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Given a graph G where each node is associated with a set of attributes, attributed network embedding (ANE) maps each node v∈ G to a compact vector Xv, which can be used in downstream machine learning tasks. Ideally, Xv should capture node v’s affinity to each attribute, which considers not only v’s own attribute associations, but also those of its connected nodes along edges in G. It is challenging to obtain high-utility embeddings that enable accurate predictions; scaling effective ANE computation to massive graphs with millions of nodes pushes the difficulty of the problem to a whole new level. Existing solutions largely fail on such graphs, leading to prohibitive costs, low-quality embeddings, or both. This paper proposes PANE, an effective and scalable approach to ANE computation for massive graphs that achieves state-of-the-art result quality on multiple benchmark datasets, measured by the accuracy of three common prediction tasks: attribute inference, link prediction, and node classification. PANE obtains high scalability and effectiveness through three main algorithmic designs. First, it formulates the learning objective based on a novel random walk model for attributed networks. The resulting optimization task is still challenging on large graphs. Second, PANE includes a highly efficient solver for the above optimization problem, whose key module is a carefully designed initialization of the embeddings, which drastically reduces the number of iterations required to converge. Finally, PANE utilizes multi-core CPUs through non-trivial parallelization of the above solver, which achieves scalability while retaining the high quality of the resulting embeddings. The performance of PANE depends upon the number of attributes in the input network. To handle large networks with numerous attributes, we further extend PANE to PANE+ +, which employs an effective attribute clustering technique. Extensive experiments, comparing 10 existing approaches on 8 real datasets, demonstrate that PANE and PANE+ + consistently outperform all existing methods in terms of result quality, while being orders of magnitude faster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1262
Number of pages26
JournalVLDB Journal
Issue number6
Early online date24 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture

User-Defined Keywords

  • Attributed graph
  • Matrix factorization
  • Network embedding
  • Random walk
  • Scalability


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