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DRew: Dynamically Rewired Message Passing with Delay

Benjamin Gutteridge · Xiaowen Dong · Michael Bronstein · Francesco Di Giovanni

Exhibit Hall 1 #214


Message passing neural networks (MPNNs) have been shown to suffer from the phenomenon of over-squashing that causes poor performance for tasks relying on long-range interactions. This can be largely attributed to message passing only occurring locally, over a node's immediate neighbours. Rewiring approaches attempting to make graphs 'more connected', and supposedly better suited to long-range tasks, often lose the inductive bias provided by distance on the graph since they make distant nodes communicate instantly at every layer. In this paper we propose a framework, applicable to any MPNN architecture, that performs a layer-dependent rewiring to ensure gradual densification of the graph. We also propose a delay mechanism that permits skip connections between nodes depending on the layer and their mutual distance. We validate our approach on several long-range tasks and show that it outperforms graph Transformers and multi-hop MPNNs.

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