Hyper-distance oracles in hypergraphs

The VLDB Journal(2024)

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We study point-to-point distance estimation in hypergraphs, where the query is parameterized by a positive integer s, which defines the required level of overlap for two hyperedges to be considered adjacent. To answer s-distance queries, we first explore an oracle based on the line graph of the given hypergraph and discuss its limitations: The line graph is typically orders of magnitude larger than the original hypergraph. We then introduce HypED, a landmark-based oracle with a predefined size, built directly on the hypergraph, thus avoiding the materialization of the line graph. Our framework allows to approximately answer vertex-to-vertex, vertex-to-hyperedge, and hyperedge-to-hyperedge s-distance queries for any value of s. A key observation at the basis of our framework is that as s increases, the hypergraph becomes more fragmented. We show how this can be exploited to improve the placement of landmarks, by identifying the s-connected components of the hypergraph. For this latter task, we devise an efficient algorithm based on the union-find technique and a dynamic inverted index. We experimentally evaluate HypED on several real-world hypergraphs and prove its versatility in answering s-distance queries for different values of s. Our framework allows answering such queries in fractions of a millisecond while allowing fine-grained control of the trade-off between index size and approximation error at creation time. Finally, we prove the usefulness of the s-distance oracle in two applications, namely hypergraph-based recommendation and the approximation of the s-closeness centrality of vertices and hyperedges in the context of protein-protein interactions.
Point-to-point distance queries,Hypergraphs,Oracle
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