Feature-aware ultra-low dimensional reduction of real networks

In existing models and embedding methods of networked systems, node features describing their qualities are usually overlooked in favor of focusing solely on node connectivity. This study introduces $FiD$-Mercator, a model-based ultra-low dimensional reduction technique that integrates node features with network structure to create $D$-dimensional maps of complex networks in a hyperbolic space. This embedding method efficiently uses features as an initial condition, guiding the search of nodes' coordinates towards an optimal solution. The research reveals that downstream task performance improves with the correlation between network connectivity and features, emphasizing the importance of such correlation for enhancing the description and predictability of real networks. Simultaneously, hyperbolic embedding's ability to reproduce local network properties remains unaffected by the inclusion of features. The findings highlight the necessity for developing novel network embedding techniques capable of exploiting such correlations to optimize both network structure and feature association jointly in the future.