Research Post

Hi-GCN: A hierarchical graph convolution network for graph embedding learning of brain network and brain disorders prediction



Recently, brain connectivity networks have been used for the classification of neurological disorder, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Alzheimer's disease (AD). Network analysis provides a new way for exploring the association between brain functional deficits and the underlying structural disruption related to brain disorders. Network embedding learning that aims to automatically learn low-dimensional representations for brain networks has drawn increasing attention in recent years.


In this work we build upon graph neural network in order to learn useful representations for graph classification in an end-to-end fashion. Specifically, we propose a hierarchical GCN framework (called hi-GCN) to learn the graph feature embedding while considering the network topology information and subject's association at the same time.


To demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, we evaluate the performance of the proposed method on the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) dataset and Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) dataset. Extensive experiments on ABIDE and ADNI datasets have demonstrated competitive performance of the hi-GCN model. Specifically, we obtain an average accuracy of 73.1%/78.5% as well as AUC of 82.3%/86.5% on ABIDE/ADNI. The comprehensive experiments demonstrate that our hi-GCN is effective for graph classification with brain disorders diagnosis.


The proposed hi-GCN method performs the graph embedding learning from a hierarchical perspective while considering the structure in individual brain network and the subject's correlation in the global population network, which can capture the most essential embedding features to improve the classification performance of disease diagnosis. Moreover, the proposed jointly optimizing strategy also achieves faster training and easier convergence than both the hi-GCN with pre-training and two-step supervision.

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