Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have achieved promising performance on a wide range of graph-based tasks. Despite their success, one severe limitation of GNNs is the over-smoothing issue (indistinguishable representations of nodes in different classes). In this work, we present a systematic and quantitative study on the over-smoothing issue of GNNs. First, we introduce two quantitative metrics, MAD and MADGap, to measure the smoothness and over-smoothness of the graph nodes representations, respectively. Then, we verify that smoothing is the nature of GNNs and the critical factor leading to over-smoothness is the low information-to-noise ratio of the message received by the nodes, which is partially determined by the graph topology. Finally, we propose two methods to alleviate the over-smoothing issue from the topological view: (1) MADReg which adds a MADGap-based regularizer to the training objective; (2) AdaEdge which optimizes the graph topology based on the model predictions. Extensive experiments on 7 widely-used graph datasets with 10 typical GNN models show that the two proposed methods are effective for relieving the over-smoothing issue, thus improving the performance of various GNN models.
Published Date: 2020-06-02
Registration: ISSN 2374-3468 (Online) ISSN 2159-5399 (Print) ISBN 978-1-57735-835-0 (10 issue set)
Copyright: Published by AAAI Press, Palo Alto, California USA Copyright © 2020, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence All Rights Reserved