Geometric scattering on measure spaces

Joyce Chew, Matthew Hirn, Smita Krishnaswamy, Deanna Needell, Michael Perlmutter, Holly Steach, Siddharth Viswanath, Hau Tieng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The scattering transform is a multilayered, wavelet-based transform initially introduced as a mathematical model of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) that has played a foundational role in our understanding of these networks' stability and invariance properties. In subsequent years, there has been widespread interest in extending the success of CNNs to data sets with non-Euclidean structure, such as graphs and manifolds, leading to the emerging field of geometric deep learning. In order to improve our understanding of the architectures used in this new field, several papers have proposed generalizations of the scattering transform for non-Euclidean data structures such as undirected graphs and compact Riemannian manifolds without boundary. Analogous to the original scattering transform, these works prove that these variants of the scattering transform have desirable stability and invariance properties and aim to improve our understanding of the neural networks used in geometric deep learning. In this paper, we introduce a general, unified model for geometric scattering on measure spaces. Our proposed framework includes previous work on compact Riemannian manifolds without boundary and undirected graphs as special cases but also applies to more general settings such as directed graphs, signed graphs, and manifolds with boundary. We propose a new criterion that identifies to which groups a useful representation should be invariant and show that this criterion is sufficient to guarantee that the scattering transform has desirable stability and invariance properties. Additionally, we consider finite measure spaces that are obtained from randomly sampling an unknown manifold. We propose two methods for constructing a data-driven graph on which the associated graph scattering transform approximates the scattering transform on the underlying manifold. Moreover, we use a diffusion-maps based approach to prove quantitative estimates on the rate of convergence of one of these approximations as the number of sample points tends to infinity. Lastly, we showcase the utility of our method on spherical images, a directed graph stochastic block model, and on high-dimensional single-cell data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101635
JournalApplied and Computational Harmonic Analysis
StatePublished - May 2024


  • Geometric deep learning
  • Manifold learning
  • Scattering transforms
  • Stability and invariance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics


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