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Abstract:Graph neural networks (GNNs) have become a workhorse approach for learning from data defined over irregular domains, typically by implicitly assuming that the data structure is represented by a homophilic graph. However, recent works have revealed that many relevant applications involve heterophilic data where the performance of GNNs can be notably compromised. To address this challenge, we present a simple yet effective architecture designed to mitigate the limitations of the homophily assumption. The proposed architecture reinterprets the role of graph filters in convolutional GNNs, resulting in a more general architecture while incorporating a stronger inductive bias than GNNs based on filter banks. The proposed convolutional layer enhances the expressive capacity of the architecture enabling it to learn from both homophilic and heterophilic data and preventing the issue of oversmoothing. From a theoretical standpoint, we show that the proposed architecture is permutation equivariant. Finally, we show that the proposed GNNs compares favorably relative to several state-of-the-art baselines in both homophilic and heterophilic datasets, showcasing its promising potential.

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Abstract:This paper introduces a probabilistic approach for tracking the dynamics of unweighted and directed graphs using state-space models (SSMs). Unlike conventional topology inference methods that assume static graphs and generate point-wise estimates, our method accounts for dynamic changes in the network structure over time. We model the network at each timestep as the state of the SSM, and use observations to update beliefs that quantify the probability of the network being in a particular state. Then, by considering the dynamics of transition and observation models through the update and prediction steps, respectively, the proposed method can incorporate the information of real-time graph signals into the beliefs. These beliefs provide a probability distribution of the network at each timestep, being able to provide both an estimate for the network and the uncertainty it entails. Our approach is evaluated through experiments with synthetic and real-world networks. The results demonstrate that our method effectively estimates network states and accounts for the uncertainty in the data, outperforming traditional techniques such as recursive least squares.

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Authors:Liuyuan Jiang, Quan Xiao, Victor M. Tenorio, Fernando Real-Rojas, Antonio Marques, Tianyi Chen

Abstract:Interest in bilevel optimization has grown in recent years, partially due to its applications to tackle challenging machine-learning problems. Several exciting recent works have been centered around developing efficient gradient-based algorithms that can solve bilevel optimization problems with provable guarantees. However, the existing literature mainly focuses on bilevel problems either without constraints, or featuring only simple constraints that do not couple variables across the upper and lower levels, excluding a range of complex applications. Our paper studies this challenging but less explored scenario and develops a (fully) first-order algorithm, which we term BLOCC, to tackle BiLevel Optimization problems with Coupled Constraints. We establish rigorous convergence theory for the proposed algorithm and demonstrate its effectiveness on two well-known real-world applications - hyperparameter selection in support vector machine (SVM) and infrastructure planning in transportation networks using the real data from the city of Seville.

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Abstract:Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have emerged as a notorious alternative to address learning problems dealing with non-Euclidean datasets. However, although most works assume that the graph is perfectly known, the observed topology is prone to errors stemming from observational noise, graph-learning limitations, or adversarial attacks. If ignored, these perturbations may drastically hinder the performance of GNNs. To address this limitation, this work proposes a robust implementation of GNNs that explicitly accounts for the presence of perturbations in the observed topology. For any task involving GNNs, our core idea is to i) solve an optimization problem not only over the learnable parameters of the GNN but also over the true graph, and ii) augment the fitting cost with a term accounting for discrepancies on the graph. Specifically, we consider a convolutional GNN based on graph filters and follow an alternating optimization approach to handle the (non-differentiable and constrained) optimization problem by combining gradient descent and projected proximal updates. The resulting algorithm is not limited to a particular type of graph and is amenable to incorporating prior information about the perturbations. Finally, we assess the performance of the proposed method through several numerical experiments.

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Abstract:Blind deconvolution over graphs involves using (observed) output graph signals to obtain both the inputs (sources) as well as the filter that drives (models) the graph diffusion process. This is an ill-posed problem that requires additional assumptions, such as the sources being sparse, to be solvable. This paper addresses the blind deconvolution problem in the presence of imperfect graph information, where the observed graph is a perturbed version of the (unknown) true graph. While not having perfect knowledge of the graph is arguably more the norm than the exception, the body of literature on this topic is relatively small. This is partly due to the fact that translating the uncertainty about the graph topology to standard graph signal processing tools (e.g. eigenvectors or polynomials of the graph) is a challenging endeavor. To address this limitation, we propose an optimization-based estimator that solves the blind identification in the vertex domain, aims at estimating the inverse of the generating filter, and accounts explicitly for additive graph perturbations. Preliminary numerical experiments showcase the effectiveness and potential of the proposed algorithm.

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Abstract:Node features bolster graph-based learning when exploited jointly with network structure. However, a lack of nodal attributes is prevalent in graph data. We present a framework to recover completely missing node features for a set of graphs, where we only know the signals of a subset of graphs. Our approach incorporates prior information from both graph topology and existing nodal values. We demonstrate an example implementation of our framework where we assume that node features depend on local graph structure. Missing nodal values are estimated by aggregating known features from the most similar nodes. Similarity is measured through a node embedding space that preserves local topological features, which we train using a Graph AutoEncoder. We empirically show not only the accuracy of our feature estimation approach but also its value for downstream graph classification. Our success embarks on and implies the need to emphasize the relationship between node features and graph structure in graph-based learning.

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Abstract:When facing graph signal processing tasks, the workhorse assumption is that the graph describing the support of the signals is known. However, in many relevant applications the available graph suffers from observation errors and perturbations. As a result, any method relying on the graph topology may yield suboptimal results if those imperfections are ignored. Motivated by this, we propose a novel approach for handling perturbations on the links of the graph and apply it to the problem of robust graph filter (GF) identification from input-output observations. Different from existing works, we formulate a non-convex optimization problem that operates in the vertex domain and jointly performs GF identification and graph denoising. As a result, on top of learning the desired GF, an estimate of the graph is obtained as a byproduct. To handle the resulting bi-convex problem, we design an algorithm that blends techniques from alternating optimization and majorization minimization, showing its convergence to a stationary point. The second part of the paper i) generalizes the design to a robust setup where several GFs are jointly estimated, and ii) introduces an alternative algorithmic implementation that reduces the computational complexity. Finally, the detrimental influence of the perturbations and the benefits resulting from the robust approach are numerically analyzed over synthetic and real-world datasets, comparing them with other state-of-the-art alternatives.

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Abstract:Graph convolutional neural networks (GCNNs) are popular deep learning architectures that, upon replacing regular convolutions with graph filters (GFs), generalize CNNs to irregular domains. However, classical GFs are prone to numerical errors since they consist of high-order polynomials. This problem is aggravated when several filters are applied in cascade, limiting the practical depth of GCNNs. To tackle this issue, we present the neighborhood graph filters (NGFs), a family of GFs that replaces the powers of the graph shift operator with $k$-hop neighborhood adjacency matrices. NGFs help to alleviate the numerical issues of traditional GFs, allow for the design of deeper GCNNs, and enhance the robustness to errors in the topology of the graph. To illustrate the advantage over traditional GFs in practical applications, we use NGFs in the design of deep neighborhood GCNNs to solve graph signal denoising and node classification problems over both synthetic and real-world data.

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