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Efficiently Forgetting What You Have Learned in Graph Representation Learning via Projection

Weilin Cong · Mehrdad Mahdavi

Auditorium 1 Foyer 41


As privacy protection receives much attention, unlearning the effect of a specific node from a pre-trained graph learning model has become equally important. However, due to the \emph{node dependency} in the graph-structured data, representation unlearning in Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) is challenging and less well explored. In this paper, we fill in this gap by first studying the unlearning problem in linear-GNNs, and then introducing its extension to non-linear structures. Given a set of nodes to unlearn, we propose \textsc{Projector} that unlearns by projecting the weight parameters of the pre-trained model onto a subspace that is irrelevant to features of the nodes to be forgotten. \textsc{Projector} could overcome the challenges caused by node dependency and enjoys perfect data removal, i.e., the unlearned model parameters do not contain any information about the unlearned node features which is guaranteed by algorithmic construction. Empirical results on real-world datasets illustrate the effectiveness and efficiency of \textsc{Projector}.

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