Published on 25 Aug 2021

VLDB 2021: Best paper award

Photo of 3 awardees - Yang Renchi (NTU), A/P Sourav S Bhowmick (NTU) and our former SCSE faculty A/P Xiao Xiaokui (NUS, Dean, School of Computing).From left: Yang Renchi (NTU), Assoc Prof Sourav S Bhowmick (NTU) and our former SCSE faculty Assoc Prof Xiao Xiaokui (NUS).

The paper "Scaling Attributed Network Embedding to Massive Graphs" by SCSE postgraduate Yang Renchi (NTU), Shi Jieming (HK Poly), Assoc Prof Xiao Xiaokui (NUS), Yang Yin (HBKU, Qatar), Liu Juncheng (NUS), and SCSE Assoc Prof Sourav S Bhowmick (NTU) has won the Best Paper Award at the 47th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB 2021).  The conference was held in hybrid mode from Aug 16 to 20 in Copenhagen, Denmark.  VLDB is a premium database conference and this is the first time NTU has won a best paper award in a premium database venue. 

The paper presents an effective and scalable approach called PANE to address the attributed network embedding (ANE) problem on massive graphs. ANE is a fundamental graph analytics problem that impacts several downstream machine learning applications such as node classification, link prediction, attribute inference, among others. Obtaining high quality embeddings that can facilitate accurate predictions of these tasks is highly challenging especially for massive graphs containing millions of nodes. In fact, existing solutions largely fail to scale to such networks while generating high quality embeddings. PANE is the only viable solution that can obtain high quality embeddings on a single server (within 12 hrs) for a network with over 59 million nodes, 0.98 billion edges, and 2000 attributes. Under the hood, PANE exploits a novel random walk model, an efficient solver, and a non-trivial parallelization of the solver by utilizing multi-core CPUs.

PANE brought us immense pleasure by taking the solution of the ANE problem to a level that has not been reached by any existing technique prior to our work. The chief architect of PANE is our former doctoral graduate Yang Renchi, jointly advised by Assoc Prof Sourav S Bhowmick and Assoc Prof Xiao Xiaokui. Renchi wrote an excellent dissertation and PANE is a contribution that came out from it, making this prestigious recognition an icing on the dissertation cake. Renchi carries with him our best wishes for a bright future in research. He has the independence and horse-power to devise nice solutions, and to turn them into solid papers.

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