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Workshop: New Frontiers in Graph Learning (GLFrontiers)

Node Mutual Information: Enhancing Graph Neural Networks for Heterophily

Seongjin Choi · Gahee Kim · Se-Young Yun

Keywords: [ graph neural networks ] [ Heterophilic Graphs ] [ Mutual Information ]

Abstract: Graph neural networks (GNNs) have achieved great success in graph analysis by leveraging homophily, where connected nodes share similar properties. However, GNNs struggle on heterophilic graphs where connected nodes tend to differ. Some of the existing methods use neighborhood expansion which is intractable for large graphs.This paper proposes utilizing node mutual information (MI) to capture dependencies between nodes in heterophilic graphs for use in GNNs. We first define a probability space associated with the graph and introduce $k^{th}$ node random variables to partition the graph based on node distances. The MI between two nodes' random variables then quantifies their dependency regardless of distance by considering both direct and indirect connections. We propose $k^{th}$ MIGNN where the $k^{th}$ MI values are used as weights in the message aggregation function. Experiments on real-world datasets with varying heterophily ratios show the proposed method achieves competitive performance compared to baseline GNNs. The results demonstrate that leveraging node mutual information effectively captures complex node dependencies in heterophilic graphs.

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