SAlign: A Graph Neural Attention Framework for Aligning Structurally Heterogeneous Networks

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Shruti Saxena
Joydeep Chandra


Network alignment techniques that map the same entities across multiple networks assume that the mapping nodes in two different networks have similar attributes and neighborhood proximity. However, real-world networks often violate such assumptions, having diverse attributes and structural properties. Node mapping across such structurally heterogeneous networks remains a challenge. Although capturing the nodes’ entire neighborhood (in low-dimensional embeddings) may help deal with these characteristic differences, the issue of over-smoothing in the representations that come from higherorder learning still remains a major problem. To address the above concerns, we propose SAlign: a supervised graph neural attention framework for aligning structurally heterogeneous networks that learns the correlation of structural properties of mapping nodes using a set of labeled (mapped) anchor nodes. SAlign incorporates nodes’ graphlet information with a novel structure-aware cross-network attention mechanism that transfers the required higher-order structure information across networks. The information exchanged across networks helps in enhancing the expressivity of the graph neural network, thereby handling any potential over-smoothing problem. Extensive experiments on three real datasets demonstrate that SAlign consistently outperforms the state-of-the-art network alignment methods by at least 1.3-8% in terms of accuracy score. The code is available at for reproducibility.

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