User-Guided Clustering in Heterogeneous Information Networks via Motif-Based Comprehensive Transcription

Yu Shi, Xinwei He, Naijing Zhang, Carl Yang, Jiawei Han

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


Heterogeneous information networks (HINs) with rich semantics are ubiquitous in real-world applications. For a given HIN, many reasonable clustering results with distinct semantic meaning can simultaneously exist. User-guided clustering is hence of great practical value for HINs where users provide labels to a small portion of nodes. To cater to a broad spectrum of user guidance evidenced by different expected clustering results, carefully exploiting the signals residing in the data is potentially useful. Meanwhile, as one type of complex networks, HINs often encapsulate higher-order interactions that reflect the interlocked nature among nodes and edges. Network motifs, sometimes referred to as meta-graphs, have been used as tools to capture such higher-order interactions and reveal the many different semantics. We therefore approach the problem of user-guided clustering in HINs with network motifs. In this process, we identify the utility and importance of directly modeling higher-order interactions without collapsing them to pairwise interactions. To achieve this, we comprehensively transcribe the higher-order interaction signals to a series of tensors via motifs and propose the MoCHIN model based on joint non-negative tensor factorization. This approach applies to arbitrarily many, arbitrary forms of HIN motifs. An inference algorithm with speed-up methods is also proposed to tackle the challenge that tensor size grows exponentially as the number of nodes in a motif increases. We validate the effectiveness of the proposed method on two real-world datasets and three tasks, and MoCHIN outperforms all baselines in three evaluation tasks under three different metrics. Additional experiments demonstrated the utility of motifs and the benefit of directly modeling higher-order information especially when user guidance is limited. (The code and the data are available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMachine Learning and Knowledge Discovery in Databases - European Conference, ECML PKDD 2019, Proceedings
EditorsUlf Brefeld, Elisa Fromont, Andreas Hotho, Arno Knobbe, Marloes Maathuis, Céline Robardet
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783030461492
StatePublished - 2020
EventEuropean Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, ECML PKDD 2019 - Wurzburg, Germany
Duration: Sep 16 2019Sep 20 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11906 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 2019


  • Heterogeneous information networks
  • Higher-order interactions
  • Network motifs
  • Non-negative tensor factorization
  • User-guided clustering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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