Factor Graph Neural Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Zhen Zhang, Fan Wu, Wee Sun Lee


Most of the successful deep neural network architectures are structured, often consisting of elements like convolutional neural networks and gated recurrent neural networks. Recently, graph neural networks (GNNs) have been successfully applied to graph-structured data such as point cloud and molecular data. These networks often only consider pairwise dependencies, as they operate on a graph structure. We generalize the GNN into a factor graph neural network (FGNN) providing a simple way to incorporate dependencies among multiple variables. We show that FGNN is able to represent Max-Product belief propagation, an approximate inference method on probabilistic graphical models, providing a theoretical understanding on the capabilities of FGNN and related GNNs. Experiments on synthetic and real datasets demonstrate the potential of the proposed architecture.