[Re] Reproducibility Study of “Explaining Temporal Graph Models Through an Explorer-Navigator Framework"

Helia Ghasemi · Christina Isaicu · Jesse Wonnink · Andreas Berentzen


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This paper seeks to reproduce and extend the results of the paper “Explaining Temporal Graph Models Through an Explorer-Navigator Framework” by (Xia et al., 2023). The main contribution of the original authors is a novel explainer for temporal graph networks, the Temporal GNN Explainer (T-GNNExplainer), which finds a subset of preceding events that “explain” a prediction made by a temporal graph model. The explorer is tested on two temporal graph models that are trained on two real-world and two synthetic datasets. The explorer is evaluated using a newly proposed metric for explanatory graph models. The authors compare the performance of their explorer to three baseline explainer methods, either adapted from a GNN explainer or developed by the authors. The authors claim that T-GNNExplainer achieves superior performance compared to the baselines when evaluated with their proposed metric. This work reproduces the original experiments by using the code (with minor adjustments), model specifications, and hyperparameters provided by the original authors. To evaluate the robustness of these claims, the method was extended to one new dataset (MOOC). Results show that the T-GNNexplainer performs best on some, but not all metrics as reported in the original findings. We conclude that the main lines of this paper hold up even though all results are less pronounced than claimed. Results show that the T-GNNExplainer does not perform similarly across different T-GNN models, precise dataset specifications are needed to obtain high performance, and there are simpler, less computationally costly explainer methods (like PBONE) that could offer competitive results.