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Why DGL?

In the last few years, deep learning has enjoyed plenty of extraordinary successes. Many challenging tasks have been solved or close to being solved by Deep Learning, such as image recognition, rich-resource machine translation, game playing. These were made possible by a set of techniques that are composed of a number of representationally powerful building-blocks, such as convolution, attention and recurrence, applied to images, video, text, speech and beyond.

The development and deployment of these techniques often depend on the simple correlation of the given data; for example, CNN is based on the spatial correlation between nearby pixels while RNN family dwells on the assumption that its input is sequence-like.

More recently, there has been a steady flow of new deep learning research focusing on graph-structured data. Some of them are more conventional graph related problems, like social networks, chemical molecules and recommender systems, where how the entity interacts with its neighborhood is as informative as, if not more than, the features of the entity itself.

Some others nevertheless have applied graph neural networks to images, text or games. Very broadly speaking, any of the data structures we have covered so far can be formalized to graphs. For instance an image can be seen as grid of pixel, text a sequence of words… Together with matured recognition modules, graph can also be defined at higher abstraction level for these data: scene graphs of images or dependency trees of language.

To this end, we made DGL. We are keen to bringing graphs closer to deep learning researchers. We want to make it easy to implement graph neural networks model family. We also want to make the combination of graph based modules and tensor based modules (PyTorch or MXNet) as smooth as possible.

Team members:

New York University: Minjie Wang (Project Lead), Lingfan Yu, Quan Gan, Jake Zhao

NYU Shanghai: Yu Gai, Zihao Ye, Mufei Li, Jinjing Zhou, Qi Huang

AWS: Da Zheng (Project Lead), Haibin Lin, Chao Ma, Damon Deng

Fudan University: Qipeng Guo

CQUPT: Hao Zhang

HKUST: Ziyue Huang


See full list here.


Jinyang Li (New York University), Alex Smola (AWS), Zheng Zhang (AWS Shanghai AI Lab, NYU Shanghai)

Special thanks:

We would like to thank Tianqi Chen and the TVM Project for helping us with many technical decisions.

Our History

DGL went through many iterations.


First Prototype

Designed by Prof. Zheng Zhang and Quan Gan at NYU Shanghai.


Serious Development Began

When Minjie, Lingfan, and Prof. Jinyang Li from NYU's system group joined, flanked by a team of student volunteers at NYU Shanghai and Fudan.


Development with Industry Team

With AWS MXNet Science team including Da Zheng, Alex Smola, Haibin Lin, Chao Ma and a number of others.


v0.1 Release

First open release.