Enhancing Real-World Complex Network Representations with Hyperedge Augmentation


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Graph augmentation methods play a crucial role in improving the performance and enhancing generalisation capabilities in Graph Neural Networks (GNNs). Existing graph augmentation methods mainly perturb the graph structures and are usually limited to pairwise node relations. These methods cannot fully address the complexities of real-world large-scale networks that often involve higher-order node relations beyond only being pairwise. Meanwhile, real-world graph datasets are predominantly modelled as simple graphs, due to the scarcity of data that can be used to form higher-order edges. Therefore, reconfiguring the higher-order edges as an integration into graph augmentation strategies lights up a promising research path to address the aforementioned issues. In this paper, we present Hyperedge Augmentation (HyperAug), a novel graph augmentation method that constructs virtual hyperedges directly form the raw data, and produces auxiliary node features by extracting from the virtual hyperedge information, which are used for enhancing GNN performances on downstream tasks. We design three diverse virtual hyperedge construction strategies to accompany the augmentation scheme: (1) via graph statistics, (2) from multiple data perspectives, and (3) utilising multi-modality. Furthermore, to facilitate HyperAug evaluation, we provide 23 novel real-world graph datasets across various domains including social media, biology, and e-commerce. Our empirical study shows that HyperAug consistently and significantly outperforms GNN baselines and other graph augmentation methods, across a variety of application contexts, which clearly indicates that it can effectively incorporate higher-order node relations into graph augmentation methods for real-world complex networks.
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