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Learning Invariant Graph Representations for Out-of-Distribution Generalization
Haoyang Li · Ziwei Zhang · Xin Wang · Wenwu Zhu


Graph representation learning has shown effectiveness when testing and training graph data come from the same distribution, but most existing approaches fail to generalize under distribution shifts. Invariant learning, backed by the invariance principle from causality, can achieve guaranteed generalization under distribution shifts in theory and has shown great successes in practice. However, invariant learning for graphs under distribution shifts remains unexplored and challenging. To solve this problem, we propose Graph Invariant Learning (GIL) model capable of learning generalized graph representations under distribution shifts. Our proposed method can capture the invariant relationships between predictive graph structural information and labels in a mixture of latent environments through jointly optimizing three tailored modules. Specifically, we first design a GNN-based subgraph generator to identify invariant subgraphs. Then we use the variant subgraphs, i.e., complements of invariant subgraphs, to infer the latent environment labels. We further propose an invariant learning module to learn graph representations that can generalize to unknown test graphs. Theoretical justifications for our proposed method are also provided. Extensive experiments on both synthetic and real-world datasets demonstrate the superiority of our method against state-of-the-art baselines under distribution shifts for the graph classification task.

Author Information

Haoyang Li (Tsinghua University)
Ziwei Zhang (Tsinghua University)
Xin Wang (Tsinghua University)
Wenwu Zhu (Tsinghua University)

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