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In-Person Poster presentation / top 25% paper

LMC: Fast Training of GNNs via Subgraph Sampling with Provable Convergence

Zhihao Shi · Xize Liang · Jie Wang

MH1-2-3-4 #106

Keywords: [ Optimization ] [ Graph Nerual Networks ] [ Provable Convergence ] [ Local Message Compensation ] [ Scalable Training ]


The message passing-based graph neural networks (GNNs) have achieved great success in many real-world applications.However, training GNNs on large-scale graphs suffers from the well-known neighbor explosion problem, i.e., the exponentially increasing dependencies of nodes with the number of message passing layers. Subgraph-wise sampling methods---a promising class of mini-batch training techniques---discard messages outside the mini-batches in backward passes to avoid the neighbor explosion problem at the expense of gradient estimation accuracy. This poses significant challenges to their convergence analysis and convergence speeds, which seriously limits their reliable real-world applications. To address this challenge, we propose a novel subgraph-wise sampling method with a convergence guarantee, namely Local Message Compensation (LMC). To the best of our knowledge, LMC is the {\it first} subgraph-wise sampling method with provable convergence. The key idea of LMC is to retrieve the discarded messages in backward passes based on a message passing formulation of backward passes. By efficient and effective compensations for the discarded messages in both forward and backward passes, LMC computes accurate mini-batch gradients and thus accelerates convergence. We further show that LMC converges to first-order stationary points of GNNs. Experiments on large-scale benchmark tasks demonstrate that LMC significantly outperforms state-of-the-art subgraph-wise sampling methods in terms of efficiency.

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