Graph Contrastive Learning with Augmentations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Yuning You, Tianlong Chen, Yongduo Sui, Ting Chen, Zhangyang Wang, Yang Shen


Generalizable, transferrable, and robust representation learning on graph-structured data remains a challenge for current graph neural networks (GNNs). Unlike what has been developed for convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for image data, self-supervised learning and pre-training are less explored for GNNs. In this paper, we propose a graph contrastive learning (GraphCL) framework for learning unsupervised representations of graph data. We first design four types of graph augmentations to incorporate various priors. We then systematically study the impact of various combinations of graph augmentations on multiple datasets, in four different settings: semi-supervised, unsupervised, and transfer learning as well as adversarial attacks. The results show that, even without tuning augmentation extents nor using sophisticated GNN architectures, our GraphCL framework can produce graph representations of similar or better generalizability, transferrability, and robustness compared to state-of-the-art methods. We also investigate the impact of parameterized graph augmentation extents and patterns, and observe further performance gains in preliminary experiments. Our codes are available at