Self-Explainable Graph Neural Networks for Link Prediction

Huaisheng Zhu, Dongsheng Luo, Xianfeng Tang, Junjie Xu, Hui Liu, Suhang Wang

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have achieved state-of-the-art performance for link prediction. However, GNNs suffer from poor interpretability, which limits their adoptions in critical scenarios that require knowing why certain links are predicted. Despite various methods proposed for the explainability of GNNs, most of them are post-hoc explainers developed for explaining node classification. Directly adopting existing post-hoc explainers for explaining link prediction is sub-optimal because: (i) post-hoc explainers usually adopt another strategy or model to explain a target model, which could misinterpret the target model; and (ii) GNN explainers for node classification identify crucial subgraphs around each node for the explanation; while for link prediction, one needs to explain the prediction for each pair of nodes based on graph structure and node attributes. Therefore, in this paper, we study a novel problem of self-explainable GNNs for link prediction, which can simultaneously give accurate predictions and explanations. Concretely, we propose a new framework and it can find various $K$ important neighbors of one node to learn pair-specific representations for links from this node to other nodes. These $K$ different neighbors represent important characteristics of the node and model various factors for links from it. Thus, $K$ neighbors can provide explanations for the existence of links. Experiments on both synthetic and real-world datasets verify the effectiveness of the proposed framework for link prediction and explanation.

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