# Guest Talk: Wolfgang Gatterbauer: Algebraic Amplificatio for Semi-Supervised Learning from Sparse Data

### Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 4:00pm

Location: Online session

Speaker: Wolfgang Gatterbauer

Abstract:

Node classification is an important problem in graph data management. It is commonly solved by various label propagation methods that work iteratively starting from a few labeled seed nodes. For graphs with arbitrary compatibilities between classes, these methods crucially depend on knowing the compatibility matrix that must be provided by either domain experts or heuristics. Can we instead directly estimate the correct compatibilities from a sparsely labeled graph in a principled and scalable way? We answer this question affirmatively and suggest a method called distant compatibility estimation that works even on extremely sparsely labeled graphs (e.g., 1 in 10,000 nodes is labeled) in a fraction of the time it later takes to label the remaining nodes. Our approach first creates multiple factorized graph representations (with size independent of the graph) and then performs estimation on these smaller graph sketches. We refer to algebraic amplification as the more general idea of leveraging algebraic properties of an algorithm’s update equations to amplify sparse signals. We show that our estimator is by orders of magnitude faster than an alternative approach and that the end-to-end classification accuracy is comparable to using gold standard compatibilities. This makes it a cheap preprocessing step for any existing label propagation method and removes the current dependence on heuristics.