Behind the scenes of today’s AI-driven innovations, Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) are hard at work. Though they’ve existed for some time, it’s only in recent years that we’ve truly begun to appreciate the scope of their influence across industries. 

Many structures we encounter in our daily lives can be visualised as graphs. Take your social network, you are a point and your relationships are the connecting lines to other points. Traditional neural networks, powerful as they are, find it challenging to process such multifaceted, interconnected data. Enter GNNs.

Graph Neural Networks, or GNNs, are built specifically to navigate and interpret these graphs. Just as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) revolutionised image processing, GNNs are transforming the way we handle graph data.

A simple overview:

  • Nodes: These are like the individual members in a social network.
  • Edges: Representing the connections or relationships, like friendships in our analogy.

With most of today’s data being relational – from our online networks to intricate financial transactions, GNNs have filled a crucial gap. They’ve shifted the focus from isolated data points to the connections between them. For businesses, it’s not merely about innovation, but also about gaining a competitive edge: recognising previously unseen patterns, enhancing prediction accuracy, and delving deeper into their data. 


GNNs aren’t just niche tech, they are shaking things up everywhere. From Healthcare to Transportation industries, here is a glimpse into the industries they’re reshaping and the challenges they are tackling: 


Industry  Applications 
Healthcare Disease prediction, Drug discovery 
Finance Fraud detection, credit scoring 
Social Media Recommendation systems, Community detection 
Transportation Traffic prediction, route optimisation 
E-commerce Product recommendation, Customer behaviour analysis
Energy Grid optimisation
Telecommunications      Network optimisation 
Research/ Academic  Molecular chemistry, knowledge graphs 

Let’s dive deeper into an example: Using GNNs for Fraud Detection

One noteworthy application of Graph Neural Networks is in the realm of fraud detection, especially within the finance industry. Traditional methods of fraud detection rely on examining individual transactions. These methods might flag unusually large transactions or rapid successive transactions from a single account. However, fraudsters have become more sophisticated, often using a network of accounts to mask illicit activities.

Imagine the financial world as a giant web where each account is a node, and transactions between them form the edges. Some nodes might be closely interconnected, like family accounts, while others might form more distant connections.

By training GNNs on this vast network of financial transactions, they can capture patterns that might be invisible in isolation. For instance, if a series of accounts suddenly show an unexpected flow of money between them, the GNN can identify this pattern as a potential fraud ring, even if each individual transaction appears legitimate.

How it Works:

  • Data Representation: Financial transactions are mapped into a graph where accounts are nodes, and transactions are edges.
  • Pattern Recognition: GNNs analyse the transaction flow, considering factors like frequency, amount, and the interconnectedness of accounts.
  • Relay and Analysis: GNNs use the relationship (edges) between accounts (nodes) to relay information. This allows them to understand the broader context, capturing behaviours across multiple accounts rather than in isolation.
  • Flagging Anomalies: Once a suspicious pattern is identified, it’s flagged for further investigation by a human analyst.

The Outcome:
With GNNs, banks and financial institutions can better preempt fraud, saving potentially millions and enhancing trust with their clientele. Make sure to read Nvidea’s Technical Blog post in case you are interested in a technical deep dive into how you could implement Graph Neural Networks for your fraud detection use case.

Graph Neural Networks

When are GNNs a viable option for your use case?

Determining the suitability of Graph Neural Networks for your particular scenario requires a thorough examination of the nature of your data and the challenges at hand. Here are some considerations to guide you: 

  1. Relational Data: If your data inherently represents relationships or can be structured as a graph (think social networks, molecular structures, transportation grids), GNNs might be a good fit. 
  2. Complex interactions: Traditional neural networks might falter when interactions within the data become too intricate. When you are grappling with a complex web of connections, GNNs can step in and provide clarity. 
  3. Pattern recognition: GNNs have a particular knack for detecting patterns or anomalies within networks, making them ideal for tasks such as identifying fraud rings in financial transactions. 
  4. Existing solutions aren’t cutting it: Sometimes, the best indicator is frustration with current methods. If other AI models are falling short, GNNs  might offer the breakthrough you need. 

In an increasingly interconnected and data-centric world, Graph Neural Networks stand out as a pivotal tool to decode complex relationships that permeate modern industries. From healthcare to finance, if you’re tackling intricate patterns and relationships, GNNs might be your solution.

Here at Latitude, we have the know-how to translate these AI advancements into tangible business value. Curious about the possibilities? Make sure to reach out!

For a deeper understanding of integrating Artificial Intelligence into your business realm, delve into our white paper: Beyond the Hype – A practical guide for AI integration in Business.