LouvainNE: Hierarchical Louvain Method for High Quality and Scalable Network Embedding

Ayan Kumar Bhowmick, Koushik Meneni, Maximilien Danisch, Jean-Loup Guillaume and Bivas Mitra

In Proceedings of the 13th ACM International WSDM conference, 2020

Network embedding, that aims to learn low-dimensional vector representation of nodes such that the network structure is preserved, has gained significant research attention in recent years. However, most state-of-the-art network embedding methods are computationally expensive and hence unsuitable for representing nodes in billion-scale networks. In this paper, we present LouvainNE, a hierarchical clustering approach to network embedding. Precisely, we employ Louvain, an extremely fast and accurate community detection method, to build a hierarchy of successively smaller subgraphs. We obtain representations of individual nodes in the original graph at different levels of the hierarchy, then we aggregate these representations to learn the final embedding vectors. Our theoretical analysis shows that our proposed algorithm has quasi-linear run-time and memory complexity. Our extensive experimental evaluation, carried out on multiple real-world networks of different scales, demonstrates both (i) the scalability of our proposed approach that can handle graphs containing tens of billions of edges, as well as (ii) its effectiveness in performing downstream network mining tasks such as network reconstruction and node classification.