Graphite: Iterative Generative Modeling of Graphs
Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 97:2434-2444, 2019.
Graphs are a fundamental abstraction for modeling relational data. However, graphs are discrete and combinatorial in nature, and learning representations suitable for machine learning tasks poses statistical and computational challenges. In this work, we propose Graphite, an algorithmic framework for unsupervised learning of representations over nodes in large graphs using deep latent variable generative models. Our model parameterizes variational autoencoders (VAE) with graph neural networks, and uses a novel iterative graph refinement strategy inspired by low-rank approximations for decoding. On a wide variety of synthetic and benchmark datasets, Graphite outperforms competing approaches for the tasks of density estimation, link prediction, and node classification. Finally, we derive a theoretical connection between message passing in graph neural networks and mean-field variational inference.