CCNI Workshop

GTA³ 4.0: The 4th workshop on Graph Techniques for Adversarial Activity Analytics

December 10th, 2020 | Atlanta, GA

For past GTA3 workshops, please visit our archive page.

In addition, we have been informed by the main conference that the event will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theme & Purpose

Networks are natural analytic tools in modeling adversarial activities (e.g., smuggling, illegal arms dealing, illicit drug production) in different contexts. However, such activities are often covert and embedded across multiple domains. They are generally not detectable and recognizable from the perspective of an isolated network, and only become apparent when multiple networks are analyzed in a joint manner. Thus, one of the main research topics in modeling adversarial activities is to develop effective techniques to align and fuse information from different networks into a unified representation for global analysis. Based on the combined network representation, an equally important research topic is on detecting and matching indicating patterns to recognize the underlining adversarial activities in the integrated network. Furthermore, more sophisticated activities could potentially involve attempts at covering their tracks by attacking and changing networks. Thus, a developing area of interest is focused on attacking the commonly used graph models, which has led towards then using these insights to develop robust models that are resilient to these attacks.

Three key challenge problems involved in the modeling process include:

  • Network alignment and merging: develop accurate and scalable methods for mapping of nodes across heterogeneous networks based on various associational and causal dependencies.
  • Sub-graph detection and matching: develop robust and efficient algorithms for richly attributed networks to support detection and recognition of complex query patterns for networks.
  • Attack and defense on graph data: develop imperceptible adversarial attack algorithms against existing graph models and develop resilient graph models that are robust against state-of-the-art attack methodologies.

The focus of this workshop is to gather together the researchers from all relevant fields to share their experience and opinions on addressing the three fundamental graph mining problems – “Connecting the dots”, “Finding a needle in a haystack”, and “Defending against attacks” in the context of adversarial activity analytics.

In addition, this workshop also aims to provide a forum for discussing research challenges and novel approaches in synthesizing realistic networks that those observed in the real-worlds. Numerous approaches have been proposed in the past for generating networks (e.g., exponential random graphs, stochastic Kronecker graphs). However, few research has been conducted on systematically injecting and embedding subtle signals (e.g., covert activities) to these “background” networks. In addition, new methods for generating synthetic data in other domains (e.g., Computer Vision) with deep generative models (e.g., Variational Autoencoders, Generative Adversarial Networks) have grown in prominence. Naturally, the question arises as to whether these new methods can be adapted to the graph domains and how they compare in capability to the current state-of-the-art. Besides the transaction-oriented networks that have been the main focus of this workshop, semantic networks (e.g., knowledge graphs) recently drawn significant attention in our research community. Thus, another important question is to extend the aforementioned graph computing capabilities to handle semantically rich networks to support the emerging research direction.

Topics of Interest

Including but not limited to:

Key Challenges:

  • Network alignment and data integration from multiple heterogeneous domains
  • Sub-graph detection and matching algorithms for large networks
  • Attack and defense strategies on graph models (e.g., graph neural networks)
  • Deep generative models for synthesizing realistic networks (e.g., static, dynamic, etc.)


  • Limits of detectability and identifiability
  • Fast and scalable graph mining algorithms
  • Multilayer and multiplex network analytics
  • Game theoretic approach on anticipating opponent intent and actions
  • Novel evaluation metrics for graph mining and network analytics
  • New methods and frontiers in spectral graph theory
  • Identification of novel network datasets

Other related topics:

  • Knowledge graph creation, analysis and application
  • Graph neural networks (GNNs) and their application towards adversarial activity analytics
  • Complex anomaly (e.g., group anomaly) detection and interpretation
  • Clustering and ranking methods for composite networks
  • Topological analysis (e.g., centrality and network motif analysis)
  • Large-scale link prediction and recommendation algorithms
  • Information diffusion and influence maximization
  • (Interactive) visualization for big networks
  • Semi-supervised learning, transductive inference, active learning, and transfer learning in the graph context

This workshop (co-located with the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Big Data) aims to bring together a cross-disciplinary audience of researchers from both academia and industry to share experience techniques, resources and best practices, and to exchange perspectives and future directions. We expect the workshop to develop a community of interested researchers and facilitate their future collaborations. A best paper will be selected and announced in our workshop based on the collective feedback from our reviewers.

Submission Instructions

Submissions to the workshop will be subject to a single-blind peer review process, with each submission reviewed by at least two program committee members in addition to an organizer. Accepted papers will be given either an oral or poster presentation slot, and will be published in the IEEE Big Data workshop proceedings.

Papers must be submitted in PDF format according to IEEE Computer Society Proceedings Manuscript Formatting Guidelines (Formatting InstructionsTemplates) to fit within 10 pages (long papers), or 6 pages (short papers) including any diagrams, references and appendices. Submissions must be self-contained and in English. After uploading your submission, please check the copy stored on the site.

Submissions should be made using the Online Submission System provided by IEEE BigData.

Important Dates

  • + Due date for full workshop papers submissionOctober 10, 2020
  • + Notification of paper acceptance to authorsNovember 3, 2020
  • + Camera-ready of accepted papersNovember 20, 2020
  • + WorkshopDecember 10, 2020

Keynote Speakers

Prof. William Hamilton
McGill University

Dr. Patrick Rubin-Delanch
University of Bristol

Accepted Papers

Multi-Channel Entity Alignment via Name Uniqueness Estimation

Miquette Orren, Patrick Mackey, Natalie Heller, and George Chin

Robust and Scalable Entity Alignment in Big Data

James Flamino, Christopher Abriola, Benjamin Zimmerman, Zhongheng Li, and Joel Douglas

Who killed Lilly Kane? A case study in applying knowledge graphs to crime fiction

Mariam Alaverdian, William Gilroy, Veronica Kirgios, Xia Li, Carolina Matuk, Daniel Mckenzie, Tachin Ruangkriengsin, Andrea Bertozzi, and Jeffrey Brantingham

Evaluation of Alignment:Precision, Recall, Weighting and Limitations

Joseph Cottam, Natalie Heller, Chrisopher Ebsch, Rahul Deshmukh, Patrick Mackey, and George Chin

Using Graph Edit Distance for Noisy Subgraph Matching of Semantic Property Graphs

Christopher Ebsch, Joseph Cottam, Natalie Heller, Rahul Deshmukh, and George Chin

Data-Driven Template Discovery Using Graph Convolutional Neural Networks

Mikel Joaristi, Sumit Purohit, Rahul Deshmukh, and Geroge Chin

Semantic Guided Filtering Strategy for Best-effort Subgraph Matching in Knowledge Graphs

Alexei Kopylov, Jiejun Xu, Kangyu Ni, Shane Roach, and Tsai-Ching Lu

Fault-Tolerant Subgraph Matching on Aligned Networks

Thomas Tu and Dominic Yang

Static and Dynamic Social Network Models for the Analysis of Transshipment in Illegal Fishing

Stefano Stamato and Andrew Park

Graph Adversarial Attacks and Defense: An Empirical Study on Citation Graph

Chau Pham, Vung Pham, and Tommy Dang

Inexact Attributed Subgraph Matching

Thomas Tu, Jacob Moorman, Dominic Yang, Qinyi Chen, and Andrea Bertozzi


All times are US EST (Eastern Standard Time)

12:15pm - 12:20pm | Opening Remarks
12:20pm - 01:00pm | Keynote 1: Detecting Anomalous Behavior in Large Graph Databases - Prof. Leman Akoglu
01:00pm - 01:40pm | Keynote 2: Manifold Structure in Graph Embeddings - Dr. Patrick Rubin-Delanchy
01:40pm - 01:55pm | Inexact Attributed Subgraph Matching
01:55pm - 02:10pm | Robust and Scalable Entity Alignment in Big Data
02:10pm - 02:20pm | Multi-Channel Entity Alignment via Name Uniqueness Estimation
02:20pm - 02:30pm | Evaluation of Alignment: Precision, Recall, Weighting and Limitations
02:30pm - 02:40pm | Using Graph Edit Distance for Noisy Subgraph Matching of Semantic Property Graphs
02:40pm - 03:00pm | Coffee Break
03:00pm - 03:40pm | Keynote 3: Graph Representation Learning: Recent Advances and Open Challenges - Prof. William Hamilton
03:40pm - 04:20pm | Keynote 4: Exploring Rare Categories on Graphs: Local vs. Global - Prof. Jingrui He
04:20pm - 04:35pm | Graph Adversarial Attacks and Defense: An Empirical Study on Citation Graph
04:35pm - 04:50pm | Data-Driven Template Discovery Using Graph Convolutional Neural Networks
04:50pm - 05:00pm | Semantic Guided Filtering Strategy for Best-effort Subgraph Matching in Knowledge Graphs
05:00pm - 05:10pm | Fault-Tolerant Subgraph Matching on Aligned Networks
05:10pm - 05:20pm | Static and Dynamic Social Network Models for the Analysis of Transshipment in Illegal Fishing
05:20pm - 05:30pm | Who killed Lilly Kane? A case study in applying knowledge graphs to crime fiction
05:30pm - 05:35pm | Closing Remarks

Program Committee

  • Joseph Cottam (PNNL, USA)
  • Tyler Derr (Vanderbilt University, USA)
  • Christopher Ebsch (PNNL, USA)
  • Jingrui He (UIUC, USA)
  • Samuel Johnson (HRL, USA)
  • Alexi Kopylov (HRL, USA)
  • Hang Liu (SIT, USA)
  • Tsai-Ching Lu (HRL, USA)
  • Patrick Mackey (PNNL, USA)
  • Jacob Moorman (UCLA, USA)
  • Connie Ni (HRL, USA)
  • Shane Roach (HRL, USA)
  • Cynthia Schneider (QS2, USA)
  • Yizhou Sun (UCLA, USA)
  • Daniel Sussman (Boston University, USA)
  • Thomas Tu (UCLA, USA)
  • Si Zhang (UIUC, USA)
  • Dawei Zhou (UIUC, USA)

Program Co-chairs (Organizers)