Single-Pass Contrastive Learning Can Work for Both Homophilic and Heterophilic Graph

Published: 05 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 05 Sept 2023Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: Existing graph contrastive learning (GCL) techniques typically require two forward passes for a single instance to construct the contrastive loss, which is effective for capturing the low-frequency signals of node features. Such a dual-pass design has shown empirical success on homophilic graphs, but its effectiveness on heterophilic graphs, where directly connected nodes typically have different labels, is unknown. In addition, existing GCL approaches fail to provide strong performance guarantees. Coupled with the unpredictability of GCL approaches on heterophilic graphs, their applicability in real-world contexts is limited. Then, a natural question arises: Can we design a GCL method that works for both homophilic and heterophilic graphs with a performance guarantee? To answer this question, we theoretically study the concentration property of features obtained by neighborhood aggregation on homophilic and heterophilic graphs, introduce the single-pass graph contrastive learning loss based on the property, and provide performance guarantees for the minimizer of the loss on downstream tasks. As a direct consequence of our analysis, we implement the Single-Pass Graph Contrastive Learning method (SP-GCL). Empirically, on 14 benchmark datasets with varying degrees of homophily, the features learned by the SP-GCL can match or outperform existing strong baselines with significantly less computational overhead, which demonstrates the usefulness of our findings in real-world cases.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Sinead_Williamson1
Submission Number: 1009