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GraphDE: A Generative Framework for Debiased Learning and Out-of-Distribution Detection on Graphs

Zenan Li · Qitian Wu · Fan Nie · Junchi Yan

Hall J (level 1) #203

Keywords: [ Debiased Learning ] [ Graph Data ] [ OOD Detection. ]


Despite the remarkable success of graph neural networks (GNNs) for graph representation learning, they are generally built on the (unreliable) i.i.d. assumption across training and testing data. However, real-world graph data are universally comprised of outliers in training set and out-of-distribution (OOD) testing samples from unseen domains, which solicits effective models for i) debiased learning and ii) OOD detection, towards general trustworthy purpose. In this paper, we first mathematically formulate the two challenging problems for graph data and take an initiative on tackling them under a unified probabilistic model. Specifically, we model the graph generative process to characterize the distribution shifts of graph data together with an additionally introduced latent environment variable as an indicator. We then define a variational distribution, i.e., a recognition model, to infer the environment during training of GNN. By instantiating the generative models as two-component mixtures, we derive a tractable learning objective and theoretically justify that the model can i) automatically identify and down-weight outliers in the training procedure, and ii) induce an effective OOD detector simultaneously. Experiments on diverse datasets with different types of OOD data prove that our model consistently outperforms strong baselines for both debiasing and OOD detection tasks. The source code has been made publicly available at

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