GCondNet: A Novel Method for Improving Neural Networks on Small High-Dimensional Tabular Data

Published: 28 Oct 2023, Last Modified: 29 Nov 2023TRL @ NeurIPS 2023 OralEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Neural Networks on Tabular data, Biomedical data, Small sample-size, High-dimensional data
TL;DR: We propose a general method to enhance neural networks' initialisation by leveraging implicit structures in tabular data, which improves accuracy.
Abstract: Neural network models often struggle with high-dimensional but small sample-size tabular datasets. One reason is that current weight initialisation methods assume independence between weights, which can be problematic when there are insufficient samples to estimate the model's parameters accurately. In such small data scenarios, leveraging additional structures can improve the model's performance and training stability. To address this, we propose GCondNet, a general approach to enhance neural networks by leveraging implicit structures present in tabular data. We create a graph between samples for each data dimension, and utilise Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) for extracting this implicit structure, and for conditioning the parameters of the first layer of an underlying predictor network. By creating many small graphs, GCondNet exploits the data's high-dimensionality, and thus improves the performance of an underlying predictor network. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on 9 real-world datasets, where GCondNet outperforms 15 standard and state-of-the-art methods. The results show that GCondNet is a versatile framework for injecting graph-regularisation into various types of neural networks, including MLPs and tabular Transformers.
Slides: pdf
Submission Number: 35