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Graph Coarsening with Neural Networks

Chen Cai · Dingkang Wang · Yusu Wang


Keywords: [ Doubly-weighted Laplace operator ] [ graph coarsening ] [ graph neural network ]

Abstract: As large scale-graphs become increasingly more prevalent, it poses significant computational challenges to process, extract and analyze large graph data. Graph coarsening is one popular technique to reduce the size of a graph while maintaining essential properties. Despite rich graph coarsening literature, there is only limited exploration of data-driven method in the field. In this work, we leverage the recent progress of deep learning on graphs for graph coarsening. We first propose a framework for measuring the quality of coarsening algorithm and show that depending on the goal, we need to carefully choose the Laplace operator on the coarse graph and associated projection/lift operators. Motivated by the observation that the current choice of edge weight for the coarse graph may be sub-optimal, we parametrize the weight assignment map with graph neural networks and train it to improve the coarsening quality in an unsupervised way. Through extensive experiments on both synthetic and real networks, we demonstrate that our method significantly improves common graph coarsening methods under various metrics, reduction ratios, graph sizes, and graph types. It generalizes to graphs of larger size (more than $25\times$ of training graphs), adaptive to different losses (both differentiable and non-differentiable), and scales to much larger graphs than previous work.

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