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Boosting Graph Contrastive Learning via Graph Contrastive Saliency

Chunyu Wei · Yu Wang · Bing Bai · Kai Ni · David Brady · LU FANG

Exhibit Hall 1 #108
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Graph augmentation plays a crucial role in achieving good generalization for contrastive graph self-supervised learning. However, mainstream Graph Contrastive Learning (GCL) often favors random graph augmentations, by relying on random node dropout or edge perturbation on graphs. Random augmentations may inevitably lead to semantic information corruption during the training, and force the network to mistakenly focus on semantically irrelevant environmental background structures. To address these limitations and to improve generalization, we propose a novel self-supervised learning framework for GCL, which can adaptively screen the semantic-related substructure in graphs by capitalizing on the proposed gradient-based Graph Contrastive Saliency (GCS). The goal is to identify the most semantically discriminative structures of a graph via contrastive learning, such that we can generate semantically meaningful augmentations by leveraging on saliency. Empirical evidence on 16 benchmark datasets demonstrates the exclusive merits of the GCS-based framework. We also provide rigorous theoretical justification for GCS's robustness properties. Code is available at .

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