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  1. Rumor spreaders are increasingly utilizing multimedia content to attract the attention and trust of news consumers. Though quite a few rumor detection models have exploited the multi-modal data, they seldom consider the inconsistent semantics between images and texts, and rarely spot the inconsistency among the post contents and background knowledge. In addition, they commonly assume the completeness of multiple modalities and thus are incapable of handling handle missing modalities in real-life scenarios. Motivated by the intuition that rumors in social media are more likely to have inconsistent semantics, a novel Knowledge-guided Dual-consistency Network is proposed to detect rumors with multimedia contents. It uses two consistency detection subnetworks to capture the inconsistency at the cross-modal level and the content-knowledge level simultaneously. It also enables robust multi-modal representation learning under different missing visual modality conditions, using a special token to discriminate between posts with visual modality and posts without visual modality. Extensive experiments on three public real-world multimedia datasets demonstrate that our framework can outperform the state-of-the-art baselines under both complete and incomplete modality conditions. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. User-generated product reviews are essential for online platforms like Amazon and Yelp. However, the presence of fake reviews misleads customers. GNN is the state-of-the-art method that detects suspicious reviewers by exploiting the topologies of the graph connecting reviewers, reviews, and products. Nevertheless, the discrepancy in the detection accuracy over different groups of reviewers degrades reviewer engagement and customer trust in the review websites. Unlike the previous belief that the difference between the groups causes unfairness, we study the subgroup structures within the groups that can also cause discrepancies in treating different groups. This paper addresses the challenges of defining, approximating, and utilizing a new subgroup structure for fair spam detection. We first identify subgroup structures in the review graph that lead to discrepant accuracy in the groups. The complex dependencies over the review graph create difficulties in teasing out subgroups hidden within larger groups. We design a model that can be trained to jointly infer the hidden subgroup memberships and exploits the membership for calibrating the detection accuracy across groups. Comprehensive comparisons against baselines on three large Yelp review datasets demonstrate that the subgroup membership can be identified and exploited for group fairness. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 6, 2024
  3. Accurate traffic speed prediction is critical to many applications, from routing and urban planning to infrastructure management. With sufficient training data where all spatio-temporal patterns are well- represented, machine learning models such as Spatial-Temporal Graph Convolutional Networks (STGCN), can make reasonably accurate predictions. However, existing methods fail when the training data distribution (e.g., traffic patterns on regular days) is different from test distribution (e.g., traffic patterns on special days). We address this challenge by proposing a traffic-law-informed network called Reaction-Diffusion Graph Ordinary Differential Equation (RDGODE) network, which incorporates a physical model of traffic speed evolution based on a reliable and interpretable reaction- diffusion equation that allows the RDGODE to adapt to unseen traffic patterns. We show that with mismatched training data, RDGODE is more robust than the state-of-the-art machine learning methods in the following cases. (1) When the test dataset exhibits spatio-temporal patterns not represented in the training dataset, the performance of RDGODE is more consistent and reliable. (2) When the test dataset has missing data, RDGODE can maintain its accuracy by intrinsically imputing the missing values. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 6, 2024
  4. Evans, Robin J. ; Shpitser, Ilya (Ed.)
    Crowdsourcing is an effective and efficient paradigm for obtaining labels for unlabeled corpus employing crowd workers. This work considers the budget allocation problem for a generalized setting on a graph of instances to be labeled where edges encode instance dependencies. Specifically, given a graph and a labeling budget, we propose an optimal policy to allocate the budget among the instances to maximize the overall labeling accuracy. We formulate the problem as a Bayesian Markov Decision Process (MDP), where we define our task as an optimization problem that maximizes the overall label accuracy under budget constraints. Then, we propose a novel stage-wise reward function that considers the effect of worker labels on the whole graph at each timestamp. This reward function is utilized to find an optimal policy for the optimization problem. Theoretically, we show that our proposed policies are consistent when the budget is infinite. We conduct extensive experiments on five real-world graph datasets and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed policies to achieve a higher label accuracy under budget constraints. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 31, 2024
  5. Robust explanations of machine learning models are critical to establish human trust in the models. Due to limited cognition capability, most humans can only interpret the top few salient features. It is critical to make top salient features robust to adversarial attacks, especially those against the more vulnerable gradient-based explanations. Existing defense measures robustness using lp norms, which have weaker protection power. We define explanation thickness for measuring salient features ranking stability, and derive tractable surrogate bounds of the thickness to design the R2ET algorithm to efficiently maximize the thickness and anchor top salient features. Theoretically, we prove a connection between R2ET and adversarial training. Experiments with a wide spectrum of network architectures and data modalities, including brain networks, demonstrate that R2ET attains higher explanation robustness under stealthy attacks while retaining accuracy. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 28, 2024
  6. Graphs are ubiquitous in social networks and biochemistry, where Graph Neural Networks (GNN) are the state-of-the-art models for prediction. Graphs can be evolving and it is vital to formally model and understand how a trained GNN responds to graph evolution. We propose a smooth parameterization of the GNN predicted distributions using axiomatic attribution, where the distributions are on a low-dimensional manifold within a high-dimensional embedding space. We exploit the differential geometric viewpoint to model distributional evolution as smooth curves on the manifold. We reparameterize families of curves on the manifold and design a convex optimization problem to find a unique curve that concisely approximates the distributional evolution for human interpretation. Extensive experiments on node classification, link prediction, and graph classification tasks with evolving graphs demonstrate the better sparsity, faithfulness, and intuitiveness of the proposed method over the state-of-the-art methods. 
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  7. Rumor spreaders are increasingly utilizing multimedia content to attract the attention and trust of news consumers. Though quite a few rumor detection models have exploited the multi-modal data, they seldom consider the inconsistent semantics between images and texts, and rarely spot the inconsistency among the post contents and background knowledge. In addition, they commonly assume the completeness of multiple modalities and thus are incapable of handling handle missing modalities in real-life scenarios. Motivated by the intuition that rumors in social media are more likely to have inconsistent semantics, a novel Knowledge-guided Dual-consistency Network is proposed to detect rumors with multimedia contents. It uses two consistency detection subnetworks to capture the inconsistency at the cross-modal level and the content-knowledge level simultaneously. It also enables robust multi-modal representation learning under different missing visual modality conditions, using a special token to discriminate between posts with visual modality and posts without visual modality. Extensive experiments on three public real-world multimedia datasets demonstrate that our framework can outperform the state- of-the-art baselines under both complete and incomplete modality conditions. 
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  8. Multiple-objective optimization (MOO) aims to simultaneously optimize multiple conflicting objectives and has found important applications in machine learning, such as simultaneously minimizing classification and fairness losses. At an optimum, further optimizing one objective will necessarily increase at least another objective, and decision-makers need to comprehensively explore multiple optima to pin-point one final solution. We address the efficiency of exploring the Pareto front that contains all optima. First, stochastic multi-gradient descent (SMGD) takes time to converge to the Pareto front with large neural networks and datasets. Instead, we explore the Pareto front as a manifold from a few initial optima, based on a predictor-corrector method. Second, for each exploration step, the predictor iteratively solves a large-scale linear system that scales quadratically in the number of model parameters, and requires one backpropagation to evaluate a second-order Hessian-vector product per iteration of the solver. We propose a Gauss-Newton approximation that scales linearly, and that requires only first-order inner-product per iteration. T hird, we explore different linear system solvers, including the MINRES and conjugate gradient methods for approximately solving the linear systems. The innovations make predictor-corrector efficient for large networks and datasets. Experiments on a fair misinformation detection task show that 1) the predictor-corrector method can find Pareto fronts better than or similar to SMGD with less time, and 2) the proposed first-order method does not harm the quality of the Pareto front identified by the second-order method, while further reducing running time. 
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  9. Graphs are widely found in social network analysis and e-commerce, where Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are the state-of the-art model. GNNs can be biased due to sensitive attributes and network topology. With existing work that learns a fair node representation or adjacency matrix, achieving a strong guarantee of group fairness while preserving prediction accuracy is still challenging, with the fairness-accuracy trade-off remaining obscure to human decision-makers. We first define and analyze a novel upper bound of group fairness to optimize the adjacency matrix for fairness without significantly h arming prediction accuracy. To understand the nuance of fairness-accuracy tradeoff, we further propose macroscopic and microscopic explanation methods to reveal the trade-offs and the space that one can exploit. The macroscopic explanation method is based on stratified sampling and linear programming to deterministically explain the dynamics of the group fairness and prediction accuracy. Driving down to the microscopic level, we propose a path-based explanation that reveals how network topology leads to the tradeoff. On seven graph datasets, we demonstrate the novel upper bound can achieve more efficient fairness-accuracy trade-offs and the intuitiveness of the explanation methods can clearly pinpoint where the trade-off is improved. 
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  10. Issues of fairness often arise in graphical neural networks used for misinformation detection. However, improving fairness can often come at the cost of reducing accuracy and vice versa. Therefore, we formulate the task of balancing accuracy and fairness as a multi-objective optimization (MOO) problem where we seek to find a set of Pareto optimal solutions. Traditional first-order approaches to solving MOO problems such as multigradient descent can be costly, especially with large neural networks. Instead, we describe a more efficient approach using the predictor-corrector method. Given an initial Pareto optimal point, this approach predicts the direction of a neighboring solution and refines this prediction using a few steps of multigradient descent. We show experimentally that this approach allows for the generation of high-quality Pareto fronts faster than baseline optimization methods. 
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