X-Rank: Explainable ranking in complex multi-layered networks

Jian Kang, Yinglong Xia, Scott Freitas, Nan Cao, Haichao Yu, Hanghang Tong

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


In this paper we present a web-based prototype for an explainable ranking algorithm in multi-layered networks, incorporating both network topology and knowledge information. While traditional ranking algorithms such as PageRank and HITS are important tools for exploring the underlying structure of networks, they have two fundamental limitations in their efforts to generate high accuracy rankings. First, they are primarily focused on network topology, leaving out additional sources of information (e.g. attributes, knowledge). Secondly, most algorithms do not provide explanations to the end-users on why the algorithm gives the specific ranking results, hindering the usability of the ranking information. We developed X-Rank, an explainable ranking tool, to address these drawbacks. Empirical results indicate that our explainable ranking method not only improves ranking accuracy, but facilitates user understanding of the ranking by exploring the top influential elements in multi-layered networks. The web-based prototype (X-Rank: http://www.x-rank.net) is currently online-we believe it will assist both researchers and practitioners looking to explore and exploit multi-layered network data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCIKM 2018 - Proceedings of the 27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
EditorsNorman Paton, Selcuk Candan, Haixun Wang, James Allan, Rakesh Agrawal, Alexandros Labrinidis, Alfredo Cuzzocrea, Mohammed Zaki, Divesh Srivastava, Andrei Broder, Assaf Schuster
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450360142
StatePublished - Oct 17 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2018 - Torino, Italy
Duration: Oct 22 2018Oct 26 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


Other27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2018


  • Explainability
  • Knowledge
  • Multi-layered network
  • Ranking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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