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Total Variation Graph Neural Networks

Jonas B. Hansen · Filippo Maria Bianchi

Exhibit Hall 1 #408
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Abstract: Recently proposed Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) for vertex clustering are trained with an unsupervised minimum cut objective, approximated by a Spectral Clustering (SC) relaxation. However, the SC relaxation is loose and, while it offers a closed-form solution, it also yields overly smooth cluster assignments that poorly separate the vertices. In this paper, we propose a GNN model that computes cluster assignments by optimizing a tighter relaxation of the minimum cut based on graph total variation (GTV). The cluster assignments can be used directly to perform vertex clustering or to implement graph pooling in a graph classification framework. Our model consists of two core components: i) a message-passing layer that minimizes the $\ell_1$ distance in the features of adjacent vertices, which is key to achieving sharp transitions between clusters; ii) an unsupervised loss function that minimizes the GTV of the cluster assignments while ensuring balanced partitions. Experimental results show that our model outperforms other GNNs for vertex clustering and graph classification.

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