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Extending the Design Space of Graph Neural Networks by Rethinking Folklore Weisfeiler-Lehman

Jiarui Feng · Lecheng Kong · Hao Liu · Dacheng Tao · Fuhai Li · Muhan Zhang · Yixin Chen

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #631
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Wed 13 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST

Abstract: Message passing neural networks (MPNNs) have emerged as the most popular framework of graph neural networks (GNNs) in recent years. However, their expressive power is limited by the 1-dimensional Weisfeiler-Lehman (1-WL) test. Some works are inspired by $k$-WL/FWL (Folklore WL) and design the corresponding neural versions. Despite the high expressive power, there are serious limitations in this line of research. In particular, (1) $k$-WL/FWL requires at least $O(n^k)$ space complexity, which is impractical for large graphs even when $k=3$; (2) The design space of $k$-WL/FWL is rigid, with the only adjustable hyper-parameter being $k$. To tackle the first limitation, we propose an extension, $(k, t)$-FWL. We theoretically prove that even if we fix the space complexity to $O(n^k)$ (for any $k \geq 2$) in $(k, t)$-FWL, we can construct an expressiveness hierarchy up to solving the graph isomorphism problem. To tackle the second problem, we propose $k$-FWL+, which considers any equivariant set as neighbors instead of all nodes, thereby greatly expanding the design space of $k$-FWL. Combining these two modifications results in a flexible and powerful framework $(k, t)$-FWL+. We demonstrate $(k, t)$-FWL+ can implement most existing models with matching expressiveness. We then introduce an instance of $(k,t)$-FWL+ called Neighborhood$^2$-FWL (N$^2$-FWL), which is practically and theoretically sound. We prove that N$^2$-FWL is no less powerful than 3-WL, and can encode many substructures while only requiring $O(n^2)$ space. Finally, we design its neural version named **N$^2$-GNN** and evaluate its performance on various tasks. N$^2$-GNN achieves record-breaking results on ZINC-Subset (**0.059**), outperforming previous SOTA results by 10.6\%. Moreover, N$^2$-GNN achieves new SOTA results on the BREC dataset (**71.8\%**) among all existing high-expressive GNN methods.

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