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KDD 2020 | GHashing: Semantic Graph Hashing for Approximate Similarity Search in Graph Databases

Accepted Papers

GHashing: Semantic Graph Hashing for Approximate Similarity Search in Graph Databases

Zongyue Qin: Peking University; Yunsheng Bai: University of California, Los Angeles; Yizhou Sun: University of California, Los Angeles


Graph similarity search aims to find the most similar graphs to a query in a graph database in terms of a given proximity measure, say Graph Edit Distance (GED). It is a widely studied yet still challenging problem. Most of the studies are based on the pruning-verification framework, which first prunes non-promising graphs and then conducts verification on the small candidate set. Existing methods are capable of managing databases with thousands or tens of thousands of graphs, but fail to scale to even larger database, due to their exact pruning strategy. Inspired by the recent success of deep-learning-based semantic hashing in image and document retrieval, we propose a novel graph neural network (GNN) based semantic hashing, i.e. GHashing, for approximate pruning. We first train a GNN with ground-truth GED results so that it learns to generate embeddings and hash codes that preserve GED between graphs. Then a hash index is built to enable graph lookup in constant time. To answer a query, we use the hash codes and the continuous embeddings as two-level pruning to retrieve the most promising candidates, which are sent to the exact solver for final verification. Due to the approximate pruning strategy leveraged by our graph hashing technique, our approach achieves significantly faster query time compared to state-of-the-art methods while maintaining a high recall. Experiments show that our approach is on average 20x faster than the only baseline that works on million-scale databases, which demonstrates GHashing successfully provides a new direction in addressing graph search problem for large-scale graph databases.

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