Very large graphs for information extraction (VLG) - summary of first-year proof-of-concept study
August 20, 2013
In numerous application domains relevant to the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, data of interest take the form of entities and the relationships between them, and these data are commonly represented as graphs. Under the Very Large Graphs for Information Extraction effort--a one-year proof-of-concept study--MIT LL developed novel techniques for anomalous subgraph detection, building on tools in the signal processing research literature. This report documents the technical results of this effort. Two datasets--a snapshot of Thompson Reuters? Web of Science database and a stream of web proxy logs--were parsed, and graphs were constructed from the raw data. From the phenomena in these datasets, several algorithms were developed to model the dynamic graph behavior, including a preferential attachment mechanism with memory, a streaming filter to model a graph as a weighted average of its past connections, and a generalized linear model for graphs where connection probabilities are determined by additional side information or metadata. A set of metrics was also constructed to facilitate comparison of techniques. The study culminated in a demonstration of the algorithms on the datasets of interest, in addition to simulated data. Performance in terms of detection, estimation, and computational burden was measured according to the metrics. Among the highlights of this demonstration were the detection of emerging coauthor clusters in the Web of Science data, detection of botnet activity in the web proxy data after 15 minutes (which took 10 days to detect using state-of-the-practice techniques), and demonstration of the core algorithm on a simulated 1-billion-vertex graph using a commodity computing cluster.