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Graph Neural Network Applications and its Future

Dr. Jagreet Kaur Gill | 18 May 2023

Graph Neural Network Applications

Introduction to Graph Neural Network

A graph neural network (GNN) is designed to process and analyze graph-structured data. It uses a graph-based neural network architecture to learn diagrammatic representations of nodes and edges, which can be used for tasks such as node classification, diagram classification, and link prediction. GNNs can be trained using supervised, semi-supervised, or unsupervised learning. They have been applied in various fields, such as chemistry, biology, social networking, recommender systems, and computer vision.

For example, the first layer of a GNN computes a representation (or embedding) of the data represented by each node in the graph, and the second layer computes a representation (or embedding) of each node based on the previous embedding and the node's nearest neighbor embeddings. This way, each layer extends the range of node embeddings from 1-hop neighbors to 2-hop neighbors and even more depending on the application.

An online database management system providing create, Read, Update, and Delete (crud) operations that expose the graph data model. Taken From Article, Graph Database Architecture and Use Cases

Several recent studies show the effectiveness of GNNs in various tasks. For example, node classification shows that his GNN significantly outperforms traditional machine learning methods on benchmark datasets. Graph classification uses GNNs to achieve state-of-the-art performance on benchmark datasets such as Tox21 and QM9. Link prediction uses GNNs to predict missing edges in graphs with high accuracy.

What is a Graph?

The most fundamental part of GNN is a Graph. A graph is a mathematical construct used to model pairwise relationships between objects. It consists of a set of vertices (or nodes) and a set of edges connecting the vertices. Edges can be directed or undirected depending on the type of relationship they represent. Graphs are used to model real-world phenomena such as road networks, social networks, and the Internet. It can also solve problems in computer science, operations research, and other fields.

Why do we choose Graph Neural Networks?

There are several reasons why graph neural networks (GNNs) are famous for analyzing graph-structured data.  

Processing Large and Complex Data: GNNs can handle large and complex graphs with billions of nodes. This is important for applications such as recommender systems and bioinformatics, where the data can be extensive and complex.

Processing Unstructured Data: Many datasets are unstructured, and GNNs can be used to extract meaningful information from them that traditional neural networks cannot process.

Handling Dynamic and Evolving Data: GNNs can be used to model dynamic and evolving charts. This is important in online social networks and transport systems where the chart structure can change over time.

Handling Missing Data: GNNs can handle missing data and be trained with semi-supervised or unsupervised learning.

A database that uses graph architecture for semantic inquiry with nodes, edges, and properties to represent and store data. Taken From Article, Graph Databases in Big Data Analytics

What are the types of Graph Neural Networks Architecture?

There are several types of graph neural network (GNN) architectures:

  1. Graph Attention Networks (GAT): These networks use a self-attention mechanism to weigh the importance of different nodes in the graph.
  2. Graph Recurrent Networks (GRN): These networks contain recurrent layers for processing sequential information in graphs.
  3. Graph Autoencoders (GAE): These networks use an encoder/decoder architecture to learn the underlying structure of the graph.
  4. Graph Transformer Networks (GTN): These networks use a Transformer-based architecture to process graph-structured data.
  5. Graph Spatial-Temporal Networks (GSTN): These networks are designed to process spatial graph data like B. Transport Networks and Social Networks.
  6. Graph Capsule Networks (GCapsNets): These networks use capsule networks to learn hierarchical relationships between graph nodes.

Recent Advances in ifficient and Scalable Graph Neural Networks

Recent advances in graph neural networks focus on making them more efficient and scalable.

  • Graph Pooling: This technique is used to reduce the number of nodes in the graph while preserving the structural properties of the graph. This allows GNNs to handle larger graphs and reduce computational complexity.
  • Graph Convolutional Networks Using Approximate Convolutions (GCNAC): This method uses approximate convolutions to reduce the computational cost of GCNs while maintaining accuracy.
  • Graph Attention Network with Approximate Attention (GATAC): This method uses an approximate attention mechanism to reduce the computational burden of GAT while maintaining accuracy.
  • Graph Transformation Networks and Approximate Self-Attention (GTNAC): This method uses an approximate self-attention mechanism to reduce the computational cost of GTN while maintaining accuracy.
  • Graph Neural Networks with Recursive Filtering (GNNRF): This method uses recursive filtering to reduce the computational cost of GNNs while maintaining accuracy.
  • Graph Neural Network with Edge Conditional Convolution (ECC): This method uses conditional edge convolution to reduce the computational cost of the GNN while maintaining accuracy.

These advances have led to the development of more efficient and scalable GNNs capable of handling more extensive and complex graphs.

A powerful class of deep learning models that combines convolutional neural network (CNN) and recurrent neural network (RNN) to process sequential data. Taken From Article, Convolutional Recurrent Neural Network For Text Recognition

What are the Real-World Applications of Graph Neural Network?

There are many practical applications of graph neural networks (GNNs). Some examples are given below.

  1. Drug Discovery: GNNs can be used to predict the potency of potential drugs by graphically modeling interactions between atoms and molecules.
  2. Social Network Analysis: GNNs can be used to analyze and understand the structure and dynamics of social networks. For example, it can predict information dissemination and community formation.
  3. Computer Vision: GNNs can analyze images and videos by modeling the relationships between pixels or regions as figures.
  4. Natural Language Processing: GNNs can analyze text by modeling the relationships between words or phrases as diagrams.
  5. Traffic Prediction: GNNs can predict traffic by graphically modeling the relationship between roads and intersections.
  6. Fraud Detection: GNNs can detect fraud by modeling the relationships between financial transactions as a diagram.
  7. Robotics: GNNs can help robots navigate and understand their environment by modeling the relationships between objects as graphs.

How AWS uses Neural Graph Networks to meet Customer Needs

AWS (Amazon Web Services) uses Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) in various ways to meet customer needs. One example is Amazon Neptune. It is a fully managed graph database service that makes building and running applications that process highly connected data easy. Neptune uses GNNs to index and query chart data, allowing customers to discover and analyze relationships between entities in their data quickly. Another example is Amazon SageMaker. It is a fully managed machine learning service that enables customers to train and deploy machine learning models at scale. SageMaker includes a built-in GNN algorithm that customers can use to train models for tasks such as link prediction, node classification, and chart classification.

Focuses on pairwise relationships between two objects at a given time and the graph's structural characteristics. Taken From Article, Graph Analytics and Knowledge Graph Use Cases

Future Of Graph Neural Networks

The future of graphic neural networks (GNNs) will include continued development and improvement of GNN models and techniques and increased use of GNNs in various real-world applications. Specific focus areas of GNN research include:

  • Scaling GNNs to larger and more complex graphs.
  • Incorporating attentional mechanisms to improve performance.
  • Developing GNNs that handle non-Euclidean data, such as hyperbolic and geometric graphs.
  • Includes developing a Moreover, GNNs are gaining popularity in several fields such as chemoinformatics, physics, recommender systems, and social networking.

Limitations of Graph Neural Networks

(GNNs) have several limitations researchers are currently trying to overcome. Some of the main restrictions are:

Scalability: GNNs can need help handling large and complex charts due to computation and storage requirements.

Overfitting: GNNs tend to overfit when the number of parameters is large, and the number of graph nodes is small.

Lack of Interpretability: GNNs are often viewed as black-box models, making it difficult to understand how the model makes predictions.

Handling Missing Data: GNNs need help handling missing or incomplete data.

Generalization: GNNs are primarily designed to work with specific kinds of graphs, such as B. A grid chart. It may not generalize to other types of graphs.

Handling Non-Euclidean Data: GNNs are primarily designed to work with Euclidean data, so they may not be well suited for non-Euclidean data such as hyperbolic or geometric graphs.

Despite these limitations, GNNs have shown promising results in several real-world applications, and researchers are actively working to overcome these limitations.

A set of technologies that use algorithms to help analysts analyze the connections between graph database entries. Taken From Article, Graph Analytics Tools and its Latest Techniques


Graph neural networks are gaining popularity due to their expressive power and explicit graphical data representation. Therefore, a wide range of applications in areas where graph structures can be exploited from data. GNNs will continue to penetrate different domains as new architectures emerge. 

As the name suggests, Graph Neural Networks have evolved into Graph Convolutional Networks inspired by Convolutional Neural Networks. They are much more efficient and powerful and form the basis for other complex graph neural network architectures such as graph attention networks, graph autoencoders, graph generation networks, and graph spatiotemporal networks.