V-InFoR: A Robust Graph Neural Networks Explainer for Structurally Corrupted Graphs

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Explainable AI, Graph Neural Networks, Machine Learning
Abstract: GNN explanation method aims to identify an explanatory subgraph which contains the most informative components of the full graph. However, a major limitation of existing GNN explainers is that they are not robust to the structurally corrupted graphs, e.g., graphs with noisy or adversarial edges. On the one hand, existing GNN explainers mostly explore explanations based on either the raw graph features or the learned latent representations, both of which can be easily corrupted. On the other hand, the corruptions in graphs are irregular in terms of the structural properties, e.g., the size or connectivity of graphs, which makes the rigorous constraints used by previous GNN explainers unfeasible. To address these issues, we propose a robust GNN explainer called V-InfoR. Specifically, a robust graph representation extractor, which takes insights of variational inference, is proposed to infer the latent distribution of graph representations. Instead of directly using the corrupted raw features or representations of each single graph, we sample the graph representations from the inferred distribution for the downstream explanation generator, which can effectively eliminate the minor corruption. We next formulate the explanation exploration as a graph information bottleneck (GIB) optimization problem. As a more general method that does not need any rigorous structural constraints, our GIB-based method can adaptively capture both the regularity and irregularity of the severely corrupted graphs for explanation. Extensive evaluations on both synthetic and real-world datasets indicate that V-InfoR significantly improves the GNN explanation performance for the structurally corrupted graphs. Code and dataset are available at https://anonymous.4open.science/r/V-InfoR-EF88
Submission Number: 11426