Accepted Papers

Graph Representation Learning via Hard and Channel-Wise Attention Networks

Hongyang Gao (Texas A&M University);Shuiwang Ji (Texas A&M University);


Attention operators have been widely applied in various fields, including computer vision, natural language processing, and network embedding learning. Attention operators on graph data enables learnable weights when aggregating information from neighboring nodes. However, graph attention operators (GAOs) consume excessive computational resources, preventing their applications on large graphs. In addition, GAOs belong to the family of soft attention, instead of hard attention, which has been shown to yield better performance. In this work, we propose novel hard graph attention operator~(hGAO) and channel-wise graph attention operator~(cGAO). hGAO uses the hard attention mechanism by attending to only important nodes. Compared to GAO, hGAO improves performance and saves computational cost by only attending to important nodes. To further reduce the requirements on computational resources, we propose the cGAO that performs attention operations along channels. cGAO avoids the dependency on the adjacency matrix, leading to dramatic reductions in computational resource requirements. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed deep models with the new operators achieve consistently better performance. Comparison results also indicates that hGAO achieves significantly better performance than GAO on both node and graph embedding tasks. Efficiency comparison shows that our cGAO leads to dramatic savings in computational resources, making them applicable to large graphs.

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