How powerful are graph neural networks?

Keyulu Xu, Stefanie Jegelka, Weihua Hu, Jure Leskovec

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1528 Scopus citations

Abstract

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are an effective framework for representation learning of graphs. GNNs follow a neighborhood aggregation scheme, where the representation vector of a node is computed by recursively aggregating and transforming representation vectors of its neighboring nodes. Many GNN variants have been proposed and have achieved state-of-the-art results on both node and graph classification tasks. However, despite GNNs revolutionizing graph representation learning, there is limited understanding of their representational properties and limitations. Here, we present a theoretical framework for analyzing the expressive power of GNNs to capture different graph structures. Our results characterize the discriminative power of popular GNN variants, such as Graph Convolutional Networks and GraphSAGE, and show that they cannot learn to distinguish certain simple graph structures. We then develop a simple architecture that is provably the most expressive among the class of GNNs and is as powerful as the Weisfeiler-Lehman graph isomorphism test. We empirically validate our theoretical findings on a number of graph classification benchmarks, and demonstrate that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2019 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 6 May 20199 May 2019

Conference

Conference7th International Conference on Learning Representations, ICLR 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period6/05/199/05/19

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