Original Article

Social Network Analysis and Mining

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 127-141

First online:

Supervised methods for multi-relational link prediction

  • Darcy DavisAffiliated withUniversity of Notre Dame
  • , Ryan LichtenwalterAffiliated withUniversity of Notre Dame
  • , Nitesh V. ChawlaAffiliated withUniversity of Notre Dame Email author 

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Many important real-world systems, modeled naturally as complex networks, have heterogeneous interactions and complicated dependency structures. Link prediction in such networks must model the influences between heterogenous relationships and distinguish the formation mechanisms of each link type, a task which is beyond the simple topological features commonly used to score potential links. In this paper, we introduce a novel probabilistically weighted extension of the Adamic/Adar measure for heterogenous information networks, which we use to demonstrate the potential benefits of diverse evidence, particularly in cases where homogeneous relationships are very sparse. However, we also expose some fundamental flaws of traditional unsupervised link prediction. We develop supervised learning approaches for relationship (link) prediction in multi-relational networks, and demonstrate that a supervised approach to link prediction can enhance performance. We present results on three diverse, real-world heterogeneous information networks and discuss the trends and tradeoffs of supervised and unsupervised link prediction in a multi-relational setting.