Effective Decoding in Graph Auto-Encoder Using Triadic Closure

  • Han Shi Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Haozheng Fan Amazon
  • James T. Kwok Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


The (variational) graph auto-encoder and its variants have been popularly used for representation learning on graph-structured data. While the encoder is often a powerful graph convolutional network, the decoder reconstructs the graph structure by only considering two nodes at a time, thus ignoring possible interactions among edges. On the other hand, structured prediction, which considers the whole graph simultaneously, is computationally expensive. In this paper, we utilize the well-known triadic closure property which is exhibited in many real-world networks. We propose the triad decoder, which considers and predicts the three edges involved in a local triad together. The triad decoder can be readily used in any graph-based auto-encoder. In particular, we incorporate this to the (variational) graph auto-encoder. Experiments on link prediction, node clustering and graph generation show that the use of triads leads to more accurate prediction, clustering and better preservation of the graph characteristics.

AAAI Technical Track: Applications