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From Graphs to Hypergraphs: Hypergraph Projection and its Reconstruction

Yanbang Wang · Jon Kleinberg

Halle B #295
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Tue 7 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


We study the implications of the modeling choice to use a graph, instead of a hypergraph, to represent real-world interconnected systems whose constituent relationships are of higher order by nature. Such a modeling choice typically involves an underlying projection process that maps the original hypergraph onto a graph, and is prevalent in graph-based analysis. While hypergraph projection can potentially lead to loss of higher-order relations, there exists very limited studies on the consequences of doing so, as well as its remediation. This work fills this gap by doing two things: (1) we develop analysis based on graph and set theory, showing two ubiquitous patterns of hyperedges that are root to structural information loss in all hypergraph projections; we also quantify the combinatorial impossibility of recovering the lost higher-order structures if no extra help is provided; (2) we still seek to recover the lost higher-order structures in hypergraph projection, and in light of (1)'s findings we make reasonable assumptions to allow the help of some prior knowledge of the application domain. Under this problem setting, we develop a learning-based hypergraph reconstruction method based on an important statistic of hyperedge distributions that we find. Our reconstruction method is systematically evaluated on 8 real-world datasets under different settings, and exhibits consistently top performance. We also demonstrate benefits of the reconstructed hypergraphs through use cases of protein rankings and link predictions.

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