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Madeline Navarro, Samuel Rey, Andrei Buciulea, Antonio G. Marques, Santiago Segarra

We investigate the increasingly prominent task of jointly inferring multiple networks from nodal observations. While most joint inference methods assume that observations are available at all nodes, we consider the realistic and more difficult scenario where a subset of nodes are hidden and cannot be measured. Under the assumptions that the partially observed nodal signals are graph stationary and the networks have similar connectivity patterns, we derive structural characteristics of the connectivity between hidden and observed nodes. This allows us to formulate an optimization problem for estimating networks while accounting for the influence of hidden nodes. We identify conditions under which a convex relaxation yields the sparsest solution, and we formalize the performance of our proposed optimization problem with respect to the effect of the hidden nodes. Finally, synthetic and real-world simulations provide evaluations of our method in comparison with other baselines.

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Andrei Buciulea, Antonio G. Marques

Graphs have become pervasive tools to represent information and datasets with irregular support. However, in many cases, the underlying graph is either unavailable or naively obtained, calling for more advanced methods to its estimation. Indeed, graph topology inference methods that estimate the network structure from a set of signal observations have a long and well established history. By assuming that the observations are both Gaussian and stationary in the sought graph, this paper proposes a new scheme to learn the network from nodal observations. Consideration of graph stationarity overcomes some of the limitations of the classical Graphical Lasso algorithm, which is constrained to a more specific class of graphical models. On the other hand, Gaussianity allows us to regularize the estimation, requiring less samples than in existing graph stationarity-based approaches. While the resultant estimation (optimization) problem is more complex and non-convex, we design an alternating convex approach able to find a stationary solution. Numerical tests with synthetic and real data are presented, and the performance of our approach is compared with existing alternatives.

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Samuel Rey, Madeline Navarro, Andrei Buciulea, Santiago Segarra, Antonio G. Marques

Graph learning problems are typically approached by focusing on learning the topology of a single graph when signals from all nodes are available. However, many contemporary setups involve multiple related networks and, moreover, it is often the case that only a subset of nodes is observed while the rest remain hidden. Motivated by this, we propose a joint graph learning method that takes into account the presence of hidden (latent) variables. Intuitively, the presence of the hidden nodes renders the inference task ill-posed and challenging to solve, so we overcome this detrimental influence by harnessing the similarity of the estimated graphs. To that end, we assume that the observed signals are drawn from a Gaussian Markov random field with latent variables and we carefully model the graph similarity among hidden (latent) nodes. Then, we exploit the structure resulting from the previous considerations to propose a convex optimization problem that solves the joint graph learning task by providing a regularized maximum likelihood estimator. Finally, we compare the proposed algorithm with different baselines and evaluate its performance over synthetic and real-world graphs.

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Andrei Buciulea, Samuel Rey, Antonio G. Marques

Network-topology inference from (vertex) signal observations is a prominent problem across data-science and engineering disciplines. Most existing schemes assume that observations from all nodes are available, but in many practical environments, only a subset of nodes is accessible. A natural (and sometimes effective) approach is to disregard the role of unobserved nodes, but this ignores latent network effects, deteriorating the quality of the estimated graph. Differently, this paper investigates the problem of inferring the topology of a network from nodal observations while taking into account the presence of hidden (latent) variables. Our schemes assume the number of observed nodes is considerably larger than the number of hidden variables and build on recent graph signal processing models to relate the signals and the underlying graph. Specifically, we go beyond classical correlation and partial correlation approaches and assume that the signals are smooth and/or stationary in the sought graph. The assumptions are codified into different constrained optimization problems, with the presence of hidden variables being explicitly taken into account. Since the resulting problems are ill-conditioned and non-convex, the block matrix structure of the proposed formulations is leveraged and suitable convex-regularized relaxations are presented. Numerical experiments over synthetic and real-world datasets showcase the performance of the developed methods and compare them with existing alternatives.

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Samuel Rey, Andrei Buciulea, Madeline Navarro, Santiago Segarra, Antonio G. Marques

Learning graphs from sets of nodal observations represents a prominent problem formally known as graph topology inference. However, current approaches are limited by typically focusing on inferring single networks, and they assume that observations from all nodes are available. First, many contemporary setups involve multiple related networks, and second, it is often the case that only a subset of nodes is observed while the rest remain hidden. Motivated by these facts, we introduce a joint graph topology inference method that models the influence of the hidden variables. Under the assumptions that the observed signals are stationary on the sought graphs and the graphs are closely related, the joint estimation of multiple networks allows us to exploit such relationships to improve the quality of the learned graphs. Moreover, we confront the challenging problem of modeling the influence of the hidden nodes to minimize their detrimental effect. To obtain an amenable approach, we take advantage of the particular structure of the setup at hand and leverage the similarity between the different graphs, which affects both the observed and the hidden nodes. To test the proposed method, numerical simulations over synthetic and real-world graphs are provided.

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