Facilitating Graph Neural Networks with Random Walk on Simplicial Complexes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper


Cai Zhou, Xiyuan Wang, Muhan Zhang


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.