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Oversquashing in GNNs through the lens of information contraction and graph expansion
Pradeep Kumar Banerjee, Kedar Karhadkar, Yu Guang Wang, Uri Alon and Guido Montúfar
The quality of signal propagation in message-passing graph neural networks (GNNs) strongly influences their expressivity as has been observed in recent works. In particular, for prediction tasks relying on long-range interactions, recursive aggregation of node features can lead to an undesired phenomenon called``oversquashing''. We present a framework for analyzing oversquashing based on information contraction. Our analysis is guided by a model of reliable computation due to von Neumann that lends a new insight into oversquashing as signal quenching in noisy computation graphs. Building on this, we propose a graph rewiring algorithm aimed at alleviating oversquashing. Our algorithm employs a random local edge flip primitive motivated by an expander graph construction. We compare the spectral expansion properties of our algorithm with that of an existing curvature-based non-local rewiring strategy. Synthetic experiments show that while our algorithm in general has a slower rate of expansion, it is overall computationally cheaper, preserves the node degrees exactly and never disconnects the graph.