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# Deep Latent Graph Matching

*Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 139:12187-12197, 2021.

#### Abstract

Deep learning for graph matching (GM) has emerged as an important research topic due to its superior performance over traditional methods and insights it provides for solving other combinatorial problems on graph. While recent deep methods for GM extensively investigated effective node/edge feature learning or downstream GM solvers given such learned features, there is little existing work questioning if the fixed connectivity/topology typically constructed using heuristics (e.g., Delaunay or k-nearest) is indeed suitable for GM. From a learning perspective, we argue that the fixed topology may restrict the model capacity and thus potentially hinder the performance. To address this, we propose to learn the (distribution of) latent topology, which can better support the downstream GM task. We devise two latent graph generation procedures, one deterministic and one generative. Particularly, the generative procedure emphasizes the across-graph consistency and thus can be viewed as a matching-guided co-generative model. Our methods deliver superior performance over previous state-of-the-arts on public benchmarks, hence supporting our hypothesis.