Towards Higher-order Topological Consistency for Unsupervised Network Alignment

by   Qingqiang Sun, et al.

Network alignment task, which aims to identify corresponding nodes in different networks, is of great significance for many subsequent applications. Without the need for labeled anchor links, unsupervised alignment methods have been attracting more and more attention. However, the topological consistency assumptions defined by existing methods are generally low-order and less accurate because only the edge-indiscriminative topological pattern is considered, which is especially risky in an unsupervised setting. To reposition the focus of the alignment process from low-order to higher-order topological consistency, in this paper, we propose a fully unsupervised network alignment framework named HTC. The proposed higher-order topological consistency is formulated based on edge orbits, which is merged into the information aggregation process of a graph convolutional network so that the alignment consistencies are transformed into the similarity of node embeddings. Furthermore, the encoder is trained to be multi-orbit-aware and then be refined to identify more trusted anchor links. Node correspondence is comprehensively evaluated by integrating all different orders of consistency. In addition to sound theoretical analysis, the superiority of the proposed method is also empirically demonstrated through extensive experimental evaluation. On three pairs of real-world datasets and two pairs of synthetic datasets, our HTC consistently outperforms a wide variety of unsupervised and supervised methods with the least or comparable time consumption. It also exhibits robustness to structural noise as a result of our multi-orbit-aware training mechanism.


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