Towards Open-World Feature Extrapolation: An Inductive Graph Learning Approach

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Authors

Qitian Wu, Chenxiao Yang, Junchi Yan

Abstract

We target open-world feature extrapolation problem where the feature space of input data goes through expansion and a model trained on partially observed features needs to handle new features in test data without further retraining. The problem is of much significance for dealing with features incrementally collected from different fields. To this end, we propose a new learning paradigm with graph representation and learning. Our framework contains two modules: 1) a backbone network (e.g., feedforward neural nets) as a lower model takes features as input and outputs predicted labels; 2) a graph neural network as an upper model learns to extrapolate embeddings for new features via message passing over a feature-data graph built from observed data. Based on our framework, we design two training strategies, a self-supervised approach and an inductive learning approach, to endow the model with extrapolation ability and alleviate feature-level over-fitting. We also provide theoretical analysis on the generalization error on test data with new features, which dissects the impact of training features and algorithms on generalization performance. Our experiments over several classification datasets and large-scale advertisement click prediction datasets demonstrate that our model can produce effective embeddings for unseen features and significantly outperforms baseline methods that adopt KNN and local aggregation.