Similarity modeling on heterogeneous networks via automatic path discovery

Carl Yang, Mengxiong Liu, Frank He, Xikun Zhang, Jian Peng, Jiawei Han

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Heterogeneous networks are widely used to model real-world semi-structured data. The key challenge of learning over such networks is the modeling of node similarity under both network structures and contents. To deal with network structures, most existing works assume a given or enumerable set of meta-paths and then leverage them for the computation of meta-path-based proximities or network embeddings. However, expert knowledge for given meta-paths is not always available, and as the length of considered meta-paths increases, the number of possible paths grows exponentially, which makes the path searching process very costly. On the other hand, while there are often rich contents around network nodes, they have hardly been leveraged to further improve similarity modeling. In this work, to properly model node similarity in content-rich heterogeneous networks, we propose to automatically discover useful paths for pairs of nodes under both structural and content information. To this end, we combine continuous reinforcement learning and deep content embedding into a novel semi-supervised joint learning framework. Specifically, the supervised reinforcement learning component explores useful paths between a small set of example similar pairs of nodes, while the unsupervised deep embedding component captures node contents and enables inductive learning on the whole network. The two components are jointly trained in a closed loop to mutually enhance each other. Extensive experiments on three real-world heterogeneous networks demonstrate the supreme advantages of our algorithm. Code related to this paper is available at:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMachine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases - European Conference, ECML PKDD 2018, Proceedings
EditorsFrancesco Bonchi, Michele Berlingerio, Thomas Gärtner, Neil Hurley, Georgiana Ifrim
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9783030109271
StatePublished - 2019
EventEuropean Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, ECML-PKDD 2018 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: Sep 10 2018Sep 14 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11052 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, ECML-PKDD 2018


  • Deep embedding
  • Heterogeneous networks
  • Similarity modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Similarity modeling on heterogeneous networks via automatic path discovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this