Abstract: Node-level random walk has been widely used to improve Graph Neural Networks. However, there is limited attention to random walk on edge and, more generally, on $k$-simplices. This paper systematically analyzes how random walk on different orders of simplicial complexes (SC) facilitates GNNs in their theoretical expressivity. First, on $0$-simplices or node level, we establish a connection between existing positional encoding (PE) and structure encoding (SE) methods through the bridge of random walk. Second, on $1$-simplices or edge level, we bridge edge-level random walk and Hodge $1$-Laplacians and design corresponding edge PE respectively. In spatial domain, we directly make use of edge level random walk to construct EdgeRWSE. Based on spectral analysis of Hodge $1$-Laplcians, we propose Hodge1Lap, a permutation equivariant and expressive edge-level positional encoding. Third, we generalize our theory to random walk on higher-order simplices and propose the general principle to design PE on simplices based on random walk and Hodge Laplacians. Inter-level random walk is also introduced to unify a wide range of simplicial networks. Extensive experiments verify the effectiveness of our random walk-based methods.
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