Spectral Augmentations for Graph Contrastive Learning
Proceedings of The 26th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 206:11213-11266, 2023.
Contrastive learning has emerged as a premier method for learning representations with or without supervision. Recent studies have shown its utility in graph representation learning for pre-training. Despite successes, the understanding of how to design effective graph augmentations that can capture structural properties common to many different types of downstream graphs remains incomplete. We propose a set of well-motivated graph transformation operations derived via graph spectral analysis to provide a bank of candidates when constructing augmentations for a graph contrastive objective, enabling contrastive learning to capture useful structural representation from pre-training graph datasets. We first present a spectral graph cropping augmentation that involves filtering nodes by applying thresholds to the eigenvalues of the leading Laplacian eigenvectors. Our second novel augmentation reorders the graph frequency components in a structural Laplacian-derived position graph embedding. Further, we introduce a method that leads to improved views of local subgraphs by performing alignment via global random walk embeddings. Our experimental results indicate consistent improvements in out-of-domain graph data transfer compared to state-of-the-art graph contrastive learning methods, shedding light on how to design a graph learner that is able to learn structural properties common to diverse graph types.