Online Sampling of Temporal Networks Academic Article uri icon


  • Temporal networks representing a stream of timestamped edges are seemingly ubiquitous in the real world. However, the massive size and continuous nature of these networks make them fundamentally challenging to analyze and leverage for descriptive and predictive modeling tasks. In this work, we propose a general framework for temporal network sampling with unbiased estimation. We develop online, single-pass sampling algorithms, and unbiased estimators for temporal network sampling. The proposed algorithms enable fast, accurate, and memory-efficient statistical estimation of temporal network patterns and properties. In addition, we propose a temporally decaying sampling algorithm with unbiased estimators for studying networks that evolve in continuous time, where the strength of links is a function of time, and the motif patterns are temporally weighted. In contrast to the prior notion of a t -temporal motif, the proposed formulation and algorithms for counting temporally weighted motifs are useful for forecasting tasks in networks such as predicting future links, or a future time-series variable of nodes and links. Finally, extensive experiments on a variety of temporal networks from different domains demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms. A detailed ablation study is provided to understand the impact of the various components of the proposed framework.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Ahmed, N. K., Duffield, N., & Rossi, R. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Ahmed, Nesreen K||Duffield, Nick||Rossi, Ryan A

publication date

  • August 2021