Search Efficient Binary Network Embedding

Daokun Zhang, Jie Yin, Xingquan Zhu, Chengqi Zhang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional network embedding primarily focuses on learning a continuous vector representation for each node, preserving network structure and/or node content information, such that off-the-shelf machine learning algorithms can be easily applied to the vector-format node representations for network analysis. However, the learned continuous vector representations are inefficient for large-scale similarity search, which often involves finding nearest neighbors measured by distance or similarity in a continuous vector space. In this article, we propose a search efficient binary network embedding algorithm called BinaryNE to learn a binary code for each node, by simultaneously modeling node context relations and node attribute relations through a three-layer neural network. BinaryNE learns binary node representations using a stochastic gradient descent-based online learning algorithm. The learned binary encoding not only reduces memory usage to represent each node, but also allows fast bit-wise comparisons to support faster node similarity search than using Euclidean or other distance measures. Extensive experiments and comparisons demonstrate that BinaryNE not only delivers more than 25 times faster search speed, but also provides comparable or better search quality than traditional continuous vector based network embedding methods. The binary codes learned by BinaryNE also render competitive performance on node classification and node clustering tasks. The source code of the BinaryNE algorithm is available at

Original languageEnglish
Article number3436892
JournalACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • binary coding
  • efficiency
  • Network embedding
  • similarity search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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