TreeRNN: Topology-Preserving Deep Graph Embedding and Learning



General graphs are difficult for learning due to their irregular structures. Existing works employ message passing along graph edges to extract local patterns using customized graph kernels, but few of them are effective for the integration of such local patterns into global features. In contrast, in this paper we study the methods to transfer the graphs into trees so that explicit orders are learned to direct the feature integration from local to global. To this end, we apply the breadth first search (BFS) to construct trees from the graphs, which adds direction to the graph edges from the center node to the peripheral nodes. In addition, we proposed a novel projection scheme that transfer the trees to image representations, which is suitable for conventional convolution neural networks (CNNs) and recurrent neural networks (RNNs). To best learn the patterns from the graph-tree-images, we propose TreeRNN, a 2D RNN architecture that recurrently integrates the image pixels by rows and columns to help classify the graph categories. We evaluate the proposed method on several graph classification datasets, and manage to demonstrate comparable accuracy with the state-of-the-art on MUTAG, PTC-MR and NCI1 datasets.