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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Human mobility analysis plays a crucial role in urban analysis, city planning, epidemic modeling, and even understanding neighborhood effects on individuals’ health. Often, these studies model human mobility in the form of co-location networks. We have recently seen the tremendous success of network representation learning models on several machine learning tasks on graphs. To the best of our knowledge, limited attention has been paid to identifying communities using network representation learning methods specifically for co-location networks. We attempt to address this problem and study user mobility behavior through the communities identified with latent node representations. Specifically, we select several diverse network representation learning models to identify communities from a real-world co-location network. We include both general-purpose representation models that make no assumptions on network modality as well as approaches designed specifically for human mobility analysis. We evaluate these different methods on data collected in the Adolescent Health and Development in Context study. Our experimental analysis reveals that a recently proposed method (LocationTrails) offers a competitive advantage over other methods with respect to its ability to represent and reflect community assignment that is consistent with extant findings regarding neighborhood racial and socio-economic differences in mobility patterns. We also compare the learned activity profiles of individuals by factoring in their residential neighborhoods. Our analysis reveals a significant contrast in the activity profiles of individuals residing in white-dominated versus black-dominated neighborhoods and advantaged versus disadvantaged neighborhoods in a major metropolitan city of United States. We provide a clear rationale for this contrastive pattern through insights from the sociological literature.

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  3. As machine learning becomes more widely adopted across domains, it is critical that researchers and ML engineers think about the inherent biases in the data that may be perpetuated by the model. Recently, many studies have shown that such biases are also imbibed in Graph Neural Network (GNN) models if the input graph is biased, potentially to the disadvantage of underserved and underrepresented communities. In this work, we aim to mitigate the bias learned by GNNs by jointly optimizing two different loss functions: one for the task of link prediction and one for the task of demographic parity. We further implement three different techniques inspired by graph modification approaches: the Global Fairness Optimization (GFO), Constrained Fairness Optimization (CFO), and Fair Edge Weighting (FEW) models. These techniques mimic the effects of changing underlying graph structures within the GNN and offer a greater degree of interpretability over more integrated neural network methods. Our proposed models emulate microscopic or macroscopic edits to the input graph while training GNNs and learn node embeddings that are both accurate and fair under the context of link recommendations. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on four real world datasets and show that we can improve the recommendation fairness by several factors at negligible cost to link prediction accuracy. 
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  4. n recent years, we have seen the success of network representation learning (NRL) methods in diverse domains ranging from com- putational chemistry to drug discovery and from social network analysis to bioinformatics algorithms. However, each such NRL method is typically prototyped in a programming environment familiar to the developer. Moreover, such methods rarely scale out to large-scale networks or graphs. Such restrictions are problematic to domain scientists or end-users who want to scale a particular NRL method-of-interest on large graphs from their specific domain. In this work, we present a novel system, WebMILE to democ- ratize this process. WebMILE can scale an unsupervised network embedding method written in the user’s preferred programming language on large graphs. It provides an easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the end-user. The user provides the necessary in- put (embedding method file, graph, required packages information) through a simple GUI, and WebMILE executes the input network embedding method on the given input graph. WebMILE leverages a pioneering multi-level method, MILE (alternatively DistMILE if the user has access to a cluster), that can scale a network embed- ding method on large graphs. The language agnosticity is achieved through a simple Docker interface. In this demonstration, we will showcase how a domain scientist or end-user can utilize WebMILE to rapidly prototype and learn node embeddings of a large graph in a flexible and efficient manner - ensuring the twin goals of high productivity and high performance. 
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