Catching the Head, Tail, and Everything in Between: A Streaming Algorithm for the Degree Distribution
2015 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) (2015)
Atlantic City, NJ, USA
Nov. 14, 2015 to Nov. 17, 2015
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/ICDM.2015.47
The degree distribution is one of the most fundamental graph properties of interest for real-world graphs. It has been widely observed in numerous domains that graphs typically have a tailed or scale-free degree distribution. While the average degree is usually quite small, the variance is quite high and there are vertices with degrees at all scales. We focus on the problem of approximating the degree distribution of a large streaming graph, with small storage. We design an algorithm headtail, whose main novelty is a new estimator of infrequent degrees using truncated geometric random variables. We give a mathematical analysis of headtail and show that it has excellent behavior in practice. We can process streams will millions of edges with storage less than 1% and get extremely accurate approximations for all scales in the degree distribution. We also introduce a new notion of Relative Hausdorff distance between tailed histograms. Existing notions of distances between distributions are not suitable, since they ignore infrequent degrees in the tail. The Relative Hausdorff distance measures deviations at all scales, and is a more suitable distance for comparing degree distributions. By tracking this new measure, we are able to give strong empirical evidence of the convergence of headtail.
Approximation algorithms, Algorithm design and analysis, Histograms, Standards, Approximation methods, Mathematical analysis, Frequency estimation
O. Simpson, C. Seshadhri and A. McGregor, "Catching the Head, Tail, and Everything in Between: A Streaming Algorithm for the Degree Distribution," 2015 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), Atlantic City, NJ, USA, 2015, pp. 979-984.