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Workshop: New Frontiers in Graph Learning (GLFrontiers)

GRAPES: Learning to Sample Graphs for Scalable Graph Neural Networks

Taraneh Younesian · Thiviyan Thanapalasingam · Emile van Krieken · Daniel Daza · Peter Bloem

Keywords: [ Graph Sampling ] [ GNN ] [ Scalability ] [ graphs ] [ gflownet ]


Graph neural networks (GNNs) learn the representation of nodes in a graph by aggregating the neighborhood information in various ways. As these networks grow in depth, their receptive field grows exponentially due to the increase in neighborhood sizes, resulting in high memory costs. Graph sampling solves memory issues in GNNs by sampling a small ratio of the nodes in the graph. This way, GNNs can scale to much larger graphs. Most sampling methods focus on fixed sampling heuristics, which may not generalize to different structures or tasks. We introduce GRAPES, an adaptive graph sampling method that learns to identify sets of influential nodes for training a GNN classifier. GRAPES uses a GFlowNet to learn node sampling probabilities given the classification objectives. We evaluate GRAPES across several small- and large-scale graph benchmarks and demonstrate its effectiveness in accuracy and scalability. In contrast to existing sampling methods, GRAPES maintains high accuracy even with small sample sizes and, therefore, can scale to very large graphs. Our code is publicly available at

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