Topology-Imbalance Learning for Semi-Supervised Node Classification

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

Paper

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Authors

Deli Chen, Yankai Lin, Guangxiang Zhao, Xuancheng Ren, Peng Li, Jie Zhou, Xu Sun

Abstract

The class imbalance problem, as an important issue in learning node representations, has drawn increasing attention from the community. Although the imbalance considered by existing studies roots from the unequal quantity of labeled examples in different classes (quantity imbalance), we argue that graph data expose a unique source of imbalance from the asymmetric topological properties of the labeled nodes, i.e., labeled nodes are not equal in terms of their structural role in the graph (topology imbalance). In this work, we first probe the previously unknown topology-imbalance issue, including its characteristics, causes, and threats to semisupervised node classification learning. We then provide a unified view to jointly analyzing the quantity- and topology- imbalance issues by considering the node influence shift phenomenon with the Label Propagation algorithm. In light of our analysis, we devise an influence conflict detection–based metric Totoro to measure the degree of graph topology imbalance and propose a model-agnostic method ReNode to address the topology-imbalance issue by re-weighting the influence of labeled nodes adaptively based on their relative positions to class boundaries. Systematic experiments demonstrate the effectiveness and generalizability of our method in relieving topology-imbalance issue and promoting semi-supervised node classification. The further analysis unveils varied sensitivity of different graph neural networks (GNNs) to topology imbalance, which may serve as a new perspective in evaluating GNN architectures.