Topological Relational Learning on Graphs

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Yuzhou Chen, Baris Coskunuzer, Yulia Gel


Graph neural networks (GNNs) have emerged as a powerful tool for graph classification and representation learning. However, GNNs tend to suffer from over-smoothing problems and are vulnerable to graph perturbations. To address these challenges, we propose a novel topological neural framework of topological relational inference (TRI) which allows for integrating higher-order graph information to GNNs and for systematically learning a local graph structure. The key idea is to rewire the original graph by using the persistent homology of the small neighborhoods of the nodes and then to incorporate the extracted topological summaries as the side information into the local algorithm. As a result, the new framework enables us to harness both the conventional information on the graph structure and information on higher order topological properties of the graph. We derive theoretical properties on stability of the new local topological representation of the graph and discuss its implications on the graph algebraic connectivity. The experimental results on node classification tasks demonstrate that the new TRI-GNN outperforms all 14 state-of-the-art baselines on 6 out 7 graphs and exhibit higher robustness to perturbations, yielding up to 10\% better performance under noisy scenarios.