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# Featured Graph Coarsening with Similarity Guarantees

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:17953-17975, 2023.

#### Abstract

Graph coarsening is a dimensionality reduction technique that aims to learn a smaller-tractable graph while preserving the properties of the original input graph. However, many real-world graphs also have features or contexts associated with each node. The existing graph coarsening methods do not consider the node features and rely solely on a graph matrix(e.g., adjacency and Laplacian) to coarsen graphs. However, some recent deep learning-based graph coarsening methods are designed for specific tasks considering both node features and graph matrix. In this paper, we introduce a novel optimization-based framework for graph coarsening that takes both the graph matrix and the node features as the input and jointly learns the coarsened graph matrix and the coarsened feature matrix while ensuring desired properties. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that guarantees that the learned coarsened graph is $\epsilon\in[0,1)$ similar to the original graph. Extensive experiments with both real and synthetic benchmark datasets elucidate the proposed framework’s efficacy and applicability for numerous graph-based applications, including graph clustering, node classification, stochastic block model identification, and graph summarization.