Robust Optimization As Data Augmentation for Large-Scale Graphs

Kezhi Kong, Guohao Li, Mucong Ding, Zuxuan Wu, Chen Zhu, Bernard Ghanem, Gavin Taylor, Tom Goldstein; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2022, pp. 60-69


Data augmentation helps neural networks generalize better by enlarging the training set, but it remains an open question how to effectively augment graph data to enhance the performance of GNNs (Graph Neural Networks). While most existing graph regularizers focus on manipulating graph topological structures by adding/removing edges, we offer a method to augment node features for better performance. We propose FLAG (Free Large-scale Adversarial Augmentation on Graphs), which iteratively augments node features with gradient-based adversarial perturbations during training. By making the model invariant to small fluctuations in input data, our method helps models generalize to out-of-distribution samples and boosts model performance at test time. FLAG is a general-purpose approach for graph data, which universally works in node classification, link prediction, and graph classification tasks. FLAG is also highly flexible and scalable, and is deployable with arbitrary GNN backbones and large-scale datasets. We demonstrate the efficacy and stability of our method through extensive experiments and ablation studies. We also provide intuitive observations for a deeper understanding of our method. We open source our implementation at

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@InProceedings{Kong_2022_CVPR, author = {Kong, Kezhi and Li, Guohao and Ding, Mucong and Wu, Zuxuan and Zhu, Chen and Ghanem, Bernard and Taylor, Gavin and Goldstein, Tom}, title = {Robust Optimization As Data Augmentation for Large-Scale Graphs}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2022}, pages = {60-69} }