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Federico Barbero, Ameya Velingker, Amin Saberi, Michael Bronstein, Francesco Di Giovanni

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are popular models for machine learning on graphs that typically follow the message-passing paradigm, whereby the feature of a node is updated recursively upon aggregating information over its neighbors. While exchanging messages over the input graph endows GNNs with a strong inductive bias, it can also make GNNs susceptible to over-squashing, thereby preventing them from capturing long-range interactions in the given graph. To rectify this issue, graph rewiring techniques have been proposed as a means of improving information flow by altering the graph connectivity. In this work, we identify three desiderata for graph-rewiring: (i) reduce over-squashing, (ii) respect the locality of the graph, and (iii) preserve the sparsity of the graph. We highlight fundamental trade-offs that occur between spatial and spectral rewiring techniques; while the former often satisfy (i) and (ii) but not (iii), the latter generally satisfy (i) and (iii) at the expense of (ii). We propose a novel rewiring framework that satisfies all of (i)--(iii) through a locality-aware sequence of rewiring operations. We then discuss a specific instance of such rewiring framework and validate its effectiveness on several real-world benchmarks, showing that it either matches or significantly outperforms existing rewiring approaches.

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Ameya Velingker, Maximilian Vötsch, David P. Woodruff, Samson Zhou

We introduce efficient $(1+\varepsilon)$-approximation algorithms for the binary matrix factorization (BMF) problem, where the inputs are a matrix $\mathbf{A}\in\{0,1\}^{n\times d}$, a rank parameter $k>0$, as well as an accuracy parameter $\varepsilon>0$, and the goal is to approximate $\mathbf{A}$ as a product of low-rank factors $\mathbf{U}\in\{0,1\}^{n\times k}$ and $\mathbf{V}\in\{0,1\}^{k\times d}$. Equivalently, we want to find $\mathbf{U}$ and $\mathbf{V}$ that minimize the Frobenius loss $\|\mathbf{U}\mathbf{V} - \mathbf{A}\|_F^2$. Before this work, the state-of-the-art for this problem was the approximation algorithm of Kumar et. al. [ICML 2019], which achieves a $C$-approximation for some constant $C\ge 576$. We give the first $(1+\varepsilon)$-approximation algorithm using running time singly exponential in $k$, where $k$ is typically a small integer. Our techniques generalize to other common variants of the BMF problem, admitting bicriteria $(1+\varepsilon)$-approximation algorithms for $L_p$ loss functions and the setting where matrix operations are performed in $\mathbb{F}_2$. Our approach can be implemented in standard big data models, such as the streaming or distributed models.

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Hamed Shirzad, Ameya Velingker, Balaji Venkatachalam, Danica J. Sutherland, Ali Kemal Sinop

Graph transformers have emerged as a promising architecture for a variety of graph learning and representation tasks. Despite their successes, though, it remains challenging to scale graph transformers to large graphs while maintaining accuracy competitive with message-passing networks. In this paper, we introduce Exphormer, a framework for building powerful and scalable graph transformers. Exphormer consists of a sparse attention mechanism based on two mechanisms: virtual global nodes and expander graphs, whose mathematical characteristics, such as spectral expansion, pseduorandomness, and sparsity, yield graph transformers with complexity only linear in the size of the graph, while allowing us to prove desirable theoretical properties of the resulting transformer models. We show that incorporating \textsc{Exphormer} into the recently-proposed GraphGPS framework produces models with competitive empirical results on a wide variety of graph datasets, including state-of-the-art results on three datasets. We also show that \textsc{Exphormer} can scale to datasets on larger graphs than shown in previous graph transformer architectures. Code can be found at https://github.com/hamed1375/Exphormer.

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Ameya Velingker, Ali Kemal Sinop, Ira Ktena, Petar Veličković, Sreenivas Gollapudi

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have emerged as a powerful technique for learning on relational data. Owing to the relatively limited number of message passing steps they perform -- and hence a smaller receptive field -- there has been significant interest in improving their expressivity by incorporating structural aspects of the underlying graph. In this paper, we explore the use of affinity measures as features in graph neural networks, in particular measures arising from random walks, including effective resistance, hitting and commute times. We propose message passing networks based on these features and evaluate their performance on a variety of node and graph property prediction tasks. Our architecture has lower computational complexity, while our features are invariant to the permutations of the underlying graph. The measures we compute allow the network to exploit the connectivity properties of the graph, thereby allowing us to outperform relevant benchmarks for a wide variety of tasks, often with significantly fewer message passing steps. On one of the largest publicly available graph regression datasets, OGB-LSC-PCQM4Mv1, we obtain the best known single-model validation MAE at the time of writing.

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Pravesh K. Kothari, Pasin Manurangsi, Ameya Velingker

We give the first polynomial time and sample $(\epsilon, \delta)$-differentially private (DP) algorithm to estimate the mean, covariance and higher moments in the presence of a constant fraction of adversarial outliers. Our algorithm succeeds for families of distributions that satisfy two well-studied properties in prior works on robust estimation: certifiable subgaussianity of directional moments and certifiable hypercontractivity of degree 2 polynomials. Our recovery guarantees hold in the "right affine-invariant norms": Mahalanobis distance for mean, multiplicative spectral and relative Frobenius distance guarantees for covariance and injective norms for higher moments. Prior works obtained private robust algorithms for mean estimation of subgaussian distributions with bounded covariance. For covariance estimation, ours is the first efficient algorithm (even in the absence of outliers) that succeeds without any condition-number assumptions. Our algorithms arise from a new framework that provides a general blueprint for modifying convex relaxations for robust estimation to satisfy strong worst-case stability guarantees in the appropriate parameter norms whenever the algorithms produce witnesses of correctness in their run. We verify such guarantees for a modification of standard sum-of-squares (SoS) semidefinite programming relaxations for robust estimation. Our privacy guarantees are obtained by combining stability guarantees with a new "estimate dependent" noise injection mechanism in which noise scales with the eigenvalues of the estimated covariance. We believe this framework will be useful more generally in obtaining DP counterparts of robust estimators. Independently of our work, Ashtiani and Liaw [AL21] also obtained a polynomial time and sample private robust estimation algorithm for Gaussian distributions.

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Michael Kapralov, Navid Nouri, Ilya Razenshteyn, Ameya Velingker, Amir Zandieh

Random binning features, introduced in the seminal paper of Rahimi and Recht (2007), are an efficient method for approximating a kernel matrix using locality sensitive hashing. Random binning features provide a very simple and efficient way of approximating the Laplace kernel but unfortunately do not apply to many important classes of kernels, notably ones that generate smooth Gaussian processes, such as the Gaussian kernel and Matern kernel. In this paper, we introduce a simple weighted version of random binning features and show that the corresponding kernel function generates Gaussian processes of any desired smoothness. We show that our weighted random binning features provide a spectral approximation to the corresponding kernel matrix, leading to efficient algorithms for kernel ridge regression. Experiments on large scale regression datasets show that our method outperforms the accuracy of random Fourier features method.

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Badih Ghazi, Noah Golowich, Ravi Kumar, Rasmus Pagh, Ameya Velingker

An exciting new development in differential privacy is the shuffled model, which makes it possible to circumvent the large error lower bounds that are typically incurred in the local model, while relying on much weaker trust assumptions than in the central model. In this work, we study two basic statistical problems, namely, heavy hitters and $d$-dimensional range counting queries, in the shuffled model of privacy. For both problems we devise algorithms with polylogarithmic communication per user and polylogarithmic error; a consequence is an algorithm for approximating the median with similar communication and error. These bounds significantly improve on what is possible in the local model of differential privacy, where the error must provably grow polynomially with the number of users.

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Badih Ghazi, Rasmus Pagh, Ameya Velingker

Federated learning promises to make machine learning feasible on distributed, private datasets by implementing gradient descent using secure aggregation methods. The idea is to compute a global weight update without revealing the contributions of individual users. Current practical protocols for secure aggregation work in an "honest but curious" setting where a curious adversary observing all communication to and from the server cannot learn any private information assuming the server is honest and follows the protocol. A more scalable and robust primitive for privacy-preserving protocols is shuffling of user data, so as to hide the origin of each data item. Highly scalable and secure protocols for shuffling, so-called mixnets, have been proposed as a primitive for privacy-preserving analytics in the Encode-Shuffle-Analyze framework by Bittau et al. Recent papers by Cheu et al. and Balle et al. have formalized the "shuffled model" and suggested protocols for secure aggregation that achieve differential privacy guarantees. Their protocols come at a cost, though: Either the expected aggregation error or the amount of communication per user scales as a polynomial $n^{\Omega(1)}$ in the number of users $n$. In this paper we propose simple and more efficient protocol for aggregation in the shuffled model, where communication as well as error increases only polylogarithmically in $n$. Our new technique is a conceptual "invisibility cloak" that makes users' data almost indistinguishable from random noise while introducing zero distortion on the sum.

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Haim Avron, Michael Kapralov, Cameron Musco, Christopher Musco, Ameya Velingker, Amir Zandieh

Reconstructing continuous signals from a small number of discrete samples is a fundamental problem across science and engineering. In practice, we are often interested in signals with 'simple' Fourier structure, such as bandlimited, multiband, and Fourier sparse signals. More broadly, any prior knowledge about a signal's Fourier power spectrum can constrain its complexity. Intuitively, signals with more highly constrained Fourier structure require fewer samples to reconstruct. We formalize this intuition by showing that, roughly, a continuous signal from a given class can be approximately reconstructed using a number of samples proportional to the *statistical dimension* of the allowed power spectrum of that class. Further, in nearly all settings, this natural measure tightly characterizes the sample complexity of signal reconstruction. Surprisingly, we also show that, up to logarithmic factors, a universal non-uniform sampling strategy can achieve this optimal complexity for *any class of signals*. We present a simple and efficient algorithm for recovering a signal from the samples taken. For bandlimited and sparse signals, our method matches the state-of-the-art. At the same time, it gives the first computationally and sample efficient solution to a broad range of problems, including multiband signal reconstruction and kriging and Gaussian process regression tasks in one dimension. Our work is based on a novel connection between randomized linear algebra and signal reconstruction with constrained Fourier structure. We extend tools based on statistical leverage score sampling and column-based matrix reconstruction to the approximation of continuous linear operators that arise in signal reconstruction. We believe that these extensions are of independent interest and serve as a foundation for tackling a broad range of continuous time problems using randomized methods.

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Haim Avron, Michael Kapralov, Cameron Musco, Christopher Musco, Ameya Velingker, Amir Zandieh

Random Fourier features is one of the most popular techniques for scaling up kernel methods, such as kernel ridge regression. However, despite impressive empirical results, the statistical properties of random Fourier features are still not well understood. In this paper we take steps toward filling this gap. Specifically, we approach random Fourier features from a spectral matrix approximation point of view, give tight bounds on the number of Fourier features required to achieve a spectral approximation, and show how spectral matrix approximation bounds imply statistical guarantees for kernel ridge regression. Qualitatively, our results are twofold: on the one hand, we show that random Fourier feature approximation can provably speed up kernel ridge regression under reasonable assumptions. At the same time, we show that the method is suboptimal, and sampling from a modified distribution in Fourier space, given by the leverage function of the kernel, yields provably better performance. We study this optimal sampling distribution for the Gaussian kernel, achieving a nearly complete characterization for the case of low-dimensional bounded datasets. Based on this characterization, we propose an efficient sampling scheme with guarantees superior to random Fourier features in this regime.

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