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Universal Prompt Tuning for Graph Neural Networks

Taoran Fang · Yunchao Zhang · YANG YANG · Chunping Wang · Lei Chen

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #633
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Tue 12 Dec 3:15 p.m. PST — 5:15 p.m. PST


In recent years, prompt tuning has sparked a research surge in adapting pre-trained models. Unlike the unified pre-training strategy employed in the language field, the graph field exhibits diverse pre-training strategies, posing challenges in designing appropriate prompt-based tuning methods for graph neural networks. While some pioneering work has devised specialized prompting functions for models that employ edge prediction as their pre-training tasks, these methods are limited to specific pre-trained GNN models and lack broader applicability. In this paper, we introduce a universal prompt-based tuning method called Graph Prompt Feature (GPF) for pre-trained GNN models under any pre-training strategy. GPF operates on the input graph's feature space and can theoretically achieve an equivalent effect to any form of prompting function. Consequently, we no longer need to illustrate the prompting function corresponding to each pre-training strategy explicitly. Instead, we employ GPF to obtain the prompted graph for the downstream task in an adaptive manner. We provide rigorous derivations to demonstrate the universality of GPF and make guarantee of its effectiveness. The experimental results under various pre-training strategies indicate that our method performs better than fine-tuning, with an average improvement of about 1.4% in full-shot scenarios and about 3.2% in few-shot scenarios. Moreover, our method significantly outperforms existing specialized prompt-based tuning methods when applied to models utilizing the pre-training strategy they specialize in. These numerous advantages position our method as a compelling alternative to fine-tuning for downstream adaptations.

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