Boosting for multi-graph classification

Jia Wu, Shirui Pan, Xingquan Zhu, Zhihua Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we formulate a novel graph-based learning problem, multi-graph classification (MGC), which aims to learn a classifier from a set of labeled bags each containing a number of graphs inside the bag. A bag is labeled positive, if at least one graph in the bag is positive, and negative otherwise. Such a multi-graph representation can be used for many real-world applications, such as webpage classification, where a webpage can be regarded as a bag with texts and images inside the webpage being represented as graphs. This problem is a generalization of multi-instance learning (MIL) but with vital differences, mainly because instances in MIL share a common feature space whereas no feature is available to represent graphs in a multi-graph bag. To solve the problem, we propose a boosting based multi-graph classification framework (bMGC). Given a set of labeled multi-graph bags, bMGC employs dynamic weight adjustment at both bag- and graph-levels to select one subgraph in each iteration as a weak classifier. In each iteration, bag and graph weights are adjusted such that an incorrectly classified bag will receive a higher weight because its predicted bag label conflicts to the genuine label, whereas an incorrectly classified graph will receive a lower weight value if the graph is in a positive bag (or a higher weight if the graph is in a negative bag). Accordingly, bMGC is able to differentiate graphs in positive and negative bags to derive effective classifiers to form a boosting model for MGC. Experiments and comparisons on real-world multi-graph learning tasks demonstrate the algorithm performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number06848779
Pages (from-to)430-443
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Boosting
  • graph classification
  • multi-graph
  • multi-instance learning
  • subgraph mining


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