Optimal Transport for structured data with application on graphs

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Vayer Titouan, Nicolas Courty, Romain Tavenard, Chapel Laetitia, Rémi Flamary ;
Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 97:6275-6284, 2019.

Abstract

This work considers the problem of computing distances between structured objects such as undirected graphs, seen as probability distributions in a specific metric space. We consider a new transportation distance ( i.e. that minimizes a total cost of transporting probability masses) that unveils the geometric nature of the structured objects space. Unlike Wasserstein or Gromov-Wasserstein metrics that focus solely and respectively on features (by considering a metric in the feature space) or structure (by seeing structure as a metric space), our new distance exploits jointly both information, and is consequently called Fused Gromov-Wasserstein (FGW). After discussing its properties and computational aspects, we show results on a graph classification task, where our method outperforms both graph kernels and deep graph convolutional networks. Exploiting further on the metric properties of FGW, interesting geometric objects such as Fr{é}chet means or barycenters of graphs are illustrated and discussed in a clustering context.

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