Practical Methods for Graph Two-Sample Testing

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)

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Debarghya Ghoshdastidar, Ulrike von Luxburg


Hypothesis testing for graphs has been an important tool in applied research fields for more than two decades, and still remains a challenging problem as one often needs to draw inference from few replicates of large graphs. Recent studies in statistics and learning theory have provided some theoretical insights about such high-dimensional graph testing problems, but the practicality of the developed theoretical methods remains an open question.

In this paper, we consider the problem of two-sample testing of large graphs. We demonstrate the practical merits and limitations of existing theoretical tests and their bootstrapped variants. We also propose two new tests based on asymptotic distributions. We show that these tests are computationally less expensive and, in some cases, more reliable than the existing methods.