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Rethinking Knowledge Graph Evaluation Under the Open-World Assumption

Haotong Yang · Zhouchen Lin · Muhan Zhang

Keywords: [ Theory ] [ Knowledge graph ]


Most knowledge graphs (KGs) are incomplete, which motivates one important research topic on automatically complementing knowledge graphs. However, evaluation of knowledge graph completion (KGC) models often ignores the incompleteness---facts in the test set are ranked against all unknown triplets which may contain a large number of missing facts not included in the KG yet. Treating all unknown triplets as false is called the closed-world assumption. This closed-world assumption might negatively affect the fairness and consistency of the evaluation metrics. In this paper, we study KGC evaluation under a more realistic setting, namely the open-world assumption, where unknown triplets are considered to include many missing facts not included in the training or test sets. For the currently most used metrics such as mean reciprocal rank (MRR) and Hits@K, we point out that their behavior may be unexpected under the open-world assumption. Specifically, with not many missing facts, their numbers show a logarithmic trend with respect to the true strength of the model, and thus, the metric increase could be insignificant in terms of reflecting the true model improvement. Further, considering the variance, we show that the degradation in the reported numbers may result in incorrect comparisons between different models, where stronger models may have lower metric numbers. We validate the phenomenon both theoretically and experimentally. Finally, we suggest possible causes and solutions for this problem. Our code and data are available at .

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