Graph Neural Networks in Particle Physics: Implementations, Innovations, and Challenges

Many physical systems can be best understood as sets of discrete data with associated relationships. Where previously these sets of data have been formulated as series or image data to match the available machine learning architectures, with the advent of graph neural networks (GNNs), these systems can be learned natively as graphs. This allows a wide variety of high- and low-level physical features to be attached to measurements and, by the same token, a wide variety of HEP tasks to be accomplished by the same GNN architectures. GNNs have found powerful use-cases in reconstruction, tagging, generation and end-to-end analysis. With the wide-spread adoption of GNNs in industry, the HEP community is well-placed to benefit from rapid improvements in GNN latency and memory usage. However, industry use-cases are not perfectly aligned with HEP and much work needs to be done to best match unique GNN capabilities to unique HEP obstacles. We present here a range of these capabilities, predictions of which are currently being well-adopted in HEP communities, and which are still immature. We hope to capture the landscape of graph techniques in machine learning as well as point out the most significant gaps that are inhibiting potentially large leaps in research.

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