Adversarial robustness of similarity-based link prediction

Kai Zhou, Tomasz P. Michalak, Yevgeniy Vorobeychik

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Link prediction is one of the fundamental problems in social network analysis. A common set of techniques for link prediction rely on similarity metrics which use the topology of the observed subnetwork to quantify the likelihood of unobserved links. Recently, similarity metrics for link prediction have been shown to be vulnerable to attacks whereby observations about the network are adversarially modified to hide target links. We propose a novel approach for increasing robustness of similarity-based link prediction by endowing the analyst with a restricted set of reliable queries which accurately measure the existence of queried links. The analyst aims to robustly predict a collection of possible links by optimally allocating the reliable queries. We formalize the analyst's problem as a Bayesian Stackelberg game in which they first choose the reliable queries, followed by an adversary who deletes a subset of links among the remaining (unreliable) queries by the analyst. The analyst in our model is uncertain about the particular target link the adversary attempts to hide, whereas the adversary has full information about the analyst and the network. Focusing on similarity metrics using only local information, we show that the problem is NP-Hard for both players, and devise two principled and efficient approaches for solving it approximately. Extensive experiments with real and synthetic networks demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 19th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM 2019
EditorsJianyong Wang, Kyuseok Shim, Xindong Wu
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781728146034
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event19th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM 2019 - Beijing, China
Duration: 8 Nov 201911 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM
ISSN (Print)1550-4786


Conference19th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM 2019


  • Adversarial robustness
  • Game theory
  • Link prediction
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Adversarial robustness of similarity-based link prediction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this