Recently, graph neural networks (GNNs) have revolutionized the field of graph representation learning through effectively learned node embeddings, and achieved state-of-the-art results in tasks such as node classification and link prediction. However, current GNN methods are inherently flat and do not learn hierarchical representations of graphs-a limitation that is especially problematic for the task of graph classification, where the goal is to predict the label associated with an entire graph. Here we propose DIFFPOOL, a differentiable graph pooling module that can generate hierarchical representations of graphs and can be combined with various graph neural network architectures in an end-to-end fashion. DIFFPOOL learns a differentiable soft cluster assignment for nodes at each layer of a deep GNN, mapping nodes to a set of clusters, which then form the coarsened input for the next GNN layer. Our experimental results show that combining existing GNN methods with DIFFPOOL yields an average improvement of 5-10% accuracy on graph classification benchmarks, compared to all existing pooling approaches, achieving a new state-of-the-art on four out of five benchmark data sets.
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