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Graph Ladling: Shockingly Simple Parallel GNN Training without Intermediate Communication
Ajay Jaiswal · Shiwei Liu · Tianlong Chen · Ding · Zhangyang “Atlas” Wang

Tue Jul 25 05:00 PM -- 06:30 PM (PDT) @ Exhibit Hall 1 #307
Graphs are omnipresent and GNNs are a powerful family of neural networks for learning over graphs. Despite their popularity, scaling GNNs either by deepening or widening suffers from prevalent issues of $\textit{unhealthy gradients, over-smoothening, information squashing}$, which often lead to sub-standard performance. In this work, we are interested in exploring a principled way to scale GNNs capacity without deepening or widening, which can improve its performance across multiple small and large graphs. Motivated by the recent intriguing phenomenon of model soups, which suggest that fine-tuned weights of multiple large-language pre-trained models can be merged to a better minima, we argue to exploit the fundamentals of model soups to mitigate the aforementioned issues of memory bottleneck and trainability during GNNs scaling. More specifically, we propose not to deepen or widen current GNNs, but instead present $\textbf{first data-centric perspective}$ of model soups to build powerful GNNs by dividing giant graph data to build independently and parallelly trained multiple comparatively weaker GNNs without any intermediate communication, and $\textit{combining their strength}$ using a greedy interpolation soup procedure to achieve state-of-the-art performance. Moreover, we provide a wide variety of model soup preparation techniques by leveraging state-of-the-art graph sampling and graph partitioning approaches that can handle large graph data structures. Our extensive experiments across many real-world small and large graphs, illustrate the effectiveness of our approach and point towards a promising orthogonal direction for GNN scaling. Codes are available at: https://github.com/VITA-Group/graph_ladling

Author Information

Ajay Jaiswal (University of Texas at Austin)
Shiwei Liu (UT Austin)

Shiwei Liu is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2022. His research interests cover sparsity in neural networks and efficient ML. He has over 30 publications in top-tier machine learning conferences, such as IJCAI, ICLR, ICML, NeurIPS, IJCV, UAI, and LoG. Shiwei won the best paper award at the LoG’22 conference and the Cum Laude (distinguished Ph.D. thesis) at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He has served as an area chair in ICIP‘22 and ICIP’23; and a PC member of almost all top-tier ML/CV conferences. Shiwei has co-organized two tutorials in IJCAI and ECML-PKDD, which were widely acclaimed by the audience. He has also given more than 20 invited talks at many universities, companies, research labs, and conferences.

Tianlong Chen (PostDoc - MIT/Harvard; Incoming Assistant Professor - UNC Chapel Hill)
Zhangyang “Atlas” Wang (University of Texas at Austin)

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