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LinGCN: Structural Linearized Graph Convolutional Network for Homomorphically Encrypted Inference

Hongwu Peng · Ran Ran · Yukui Luo · Jiahui Zhao · Shaoyi Huang · Kiran Thorat · Tong Geng · Chenghong Wang · Xiaolin Xu · Wujie Wen · Caiwen Ding

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #2026
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Tue 12 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST


The growth of Graph Convolution Network (GCN) model sizes has revolutionized numerous applications, surpassing human performance in areas such as personal healthcare and financial systems. The deployment of GCNs in the cloud raises privacy concerns due to potential adversarial attacks on client data. To address security concerns, Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning (PPML) using Homomorphic Encryption (HE) secures sensitive client data. However, it introduces substantial computational overhead in practical applications. To tackle those challenges, we present LinGCN, a framework designed to reduce multiplication depth and optimize the performance of HE based GCN inference. LinGCN is structured around three key elements: (1) A differentiable structural linearization algorithm, complemented by a parameterized discrete indicator function, co-trained with model weights to meet the optimization goal. This strategy promotes fine-grained node-level non-linear location selection, resulting in a model with minimized multiplication depth. (2) A compact node-wise polynomial replacement policy with a second-order trainable activation function, steered towards superior convergence by a two-level distillation approach from an all-ReLU based teacher model. (3) an enhanced HE solution that enables finer-grained operator fusion for node-wise activation functions, further reducing multiplication level consumption in HE-based inference. Our experiments on the NTU-XVIEW skeleton joint dataset reveal that LinGCN excels in latency, accuracy, and scalability for homomorphically encrypted inference, outperforming solutions such as CryptoGCN. Remarkably, LinGCN achieves a 14.2× latency speedup relative to CryptoGCN, while preserving an inference accuracy of ~75\% and notably reducing multiplication depth. Additionally, LinGCN proves scalable for larger models, delivering a substantial 85.78\% accuracy with 6371s latency, a 10.47\% accuracy improvement over CryptoGCN.

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