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Fair graph learning plays a pivotal role in numerous practical applications. Recently, many fair graph learning methods have been proposed; however, their evaluation often relies on poorly constructed semi-synthetic datasets or substandard real-world datasets. In such cases, even a basic Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) can outperform Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) in both utility and fairness. In this work, we illustrate that many datasets fail to provide meaningful information in the edges, which may challenge the necessity of using graph structures in these problems. To address these issues, we develop and introduce a collection of synthetic, semi-synthetic, and real-world datasets that fulfill a broad spectrum of requirements. These datasets are thoughtfully designed to include relevant graph structures and bias information crucial for the fair evaluation of models. The proposed synthetic and semi-synthetic datasets offer the flexibility to create data with controllable bias parameters, thereby enabling the generation of desired datasets with user-defined bias values with ease. Moreover, we conduct systematic evaluations of these proposed datasets and establish a unified evaluation approach for fair graph learning models. Our extensive experimental results with fair graph learning methods across our datasets demonstrate their effectiveness in benchmarking the performance of these methods. Our datasets and the code for reproducing our experiments are available at https://github.com/XweiQ/Benchmark-GraphFairness.

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Khalid A. Alobaid, Yasser Abduallah, Jason T. L. Wang, Haimin Wang, Shen Fan, Jialiang Li, Huseyin Cavus, Vasyl Yurchyshyn

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are massive solar eruptions, which have a significant impact on Earth. In this paper, we propose a new method, called DeepCME, to estimate two properties of CMEs, namely, CME mass and kinetic energy. Being able to estimate these properties helps better understand CME dynamics. Our study is based on the CME catalog maintained at the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshops (CDAW) Data Center, which contains all CMEs manually identified since 1996 using the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). We use LASCO C2 data in the period between January 1996 and December 2020 to train, validate and test DeepCME through 10-fold cross validation. The DeepCME method is a fusion of three deep learning models, including ResNet, InceptionNet, and InceptionResNet. Our fusion model extracts features from LASCO C2 images, effectively combining the learning capabilities of the three component models to jointly estimate the mass and kinetic energy of CMEs. Experimental results show that the fusion model yields a mean relative error (MRE) of 0.013 (0.009, respectively) compared to the MRE of 0.019 (0.017, respectively) of the best component model InceptionResNet (InceptionNet, respectively) in estimating the CME mass (kinetic energy, respectively). To our knowledge, this is the first time that deep learning has been used for CME mass and kinetic energy estimations.

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Graph neural networks have shown great ability in representation (GNNs) learning on graphs, facilitating various tasks. Despite their great performance in modeling graphs, recent works show that GNNs tend to inherit and amplify the bias from training data, causing concerns of the adoption of GNNs in high-stake scenarios. Hence, many efforts have been taken for fairness-aware GNNs. However, most existing fair GNNs learn fair node representations by adopting statistical fairness notions, which may fail to alleviate bias in the presence of statistical anomalies. Motivated by causal theory, there are several attempts utilizing graph counterfactual fairness to mitigate root causes of unfairness. However, these methods suffer from non-realistic counterfactuals obtained by perturbation or generation. In this paper, we take a causal view on fair graph learning problem. Guided by the casual analysis, we propose a novel framework CAF, which can select counterfactuals from training data to avoid non-realistic counterfactuals and adopt selected counterfactuals to learn fair node representations for node classification task. Extensive experiments on synthetic and real-world datasets show the effectiveness of CAF.

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We propose a combinatorial optimisation model called Limited Query Graph Connectivity Test. We consider a graph whose edges have two possible states (on/off). The edges' states are hidden initially. We could query an edge to reveal its state. Given a source s and a destination t, we aim to test s-t connectivity by identifying either a path (consisting of only on edges) or a cut (consisting of only off edges). We are limited to B queries, after which we stop regardless of whether graph connectivity is established. We aim to design a query policy that minimizes the expected number of queries. If we remove the query limit B (i.e., by setting B to the total number of edges), then our problem becomes a special case of (monotone) Stochastic Boolean Function Evaluation (SBFE). There are two existing exact algorithms that are prohibitively expensive. They have best known upper bounds of O(3^m) and O(2^{2^k}) respectively, where m is the number of edges and k is the number of paths/cuts. These algorithms do not scale well in practice. We propose a significantly more scalable exact algorithm. Our exact algorithm works by iteratively improving the performance lower bound until the lower bound becomes achievable. Even when our exact algorithm does not scale, it can be used as an anytime algorithm for calculating lower bound. We experiment on a wide range of practical graphs. We observe that even for large graphs (i.e., tens of thousands of edges), it mostly takes only a few queries to reach conclusion, which is the practical motivation behind the query limit B. B is also an algorithm parameter that controls scalability. For small B, our exact algorithm scales well. For large B, our exact algorithm can be converted to a heuristic (i.e., always pretend that there are only 5 queries left). Our heuristic outperforms all existing heuristics ported from SBFE and related literature.

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Active Directory is the default security management system for Windows domain networks. We study the shortest path edge interdiction problem for defending Active Directory style attack graphs. The problem is formulated as a Stackelberg game between one defender and one attacker. The attack graph contains one destination node and multiple entry nodes. The attacker's entry node is chosen by nature. The defender chooses to block a set of edges limited by his budget. The attacker then picks the shortest unblocked attack path. The defender aims to maximize the expected shortest path length for the attacker, where the expectation is taken over entry nodes. We observe that practical Active Directory attack graphs have small maximum attack path lengths and are structurally close to trees. We first show that even if the maximum attack path length is a constant, the problem is still $W[1]$-hard with respect to the defender's budget. Having a small maximum attack path length and a small budget is not enough to design fixed-parameter algorithms. If we further assume that the number of entry nodes is small, then we derive a fixed-parameter tractable algorithm. We then propose two other fixed-parameter algorithms by exploiting the tree-like features. One is based on tree decomposition and requires a small tree width. The other assumes a small number of splitting nodes (nodes with multiple out-going edges). Finally, the last algorithm is converted into a graph convolutional neural network based heuristic, which scales to larger graphs with more splitting nodes.

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