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Dynamic Graph Neural Networks Under Spatio-Temporal Distribution Shift

Zeyang Zhang · Xin Wang · Ziwei Zhang · Haoyang Li · Zhou Qin · Wenwu Zhu


Dynamic graph neural networks (DyGNNs) have demonstrated powerful predictive abilities by exploiting graph structural and temporal dynamics. However, the existing DyGNNs fail to handle distribution shifts, which naturally exist in dynamic graphs, mainly because the patterns exploited by DyGNNs may be variant with respect to labels under distribution shifts. In this paper, we propose to handle spatio-temporal distribution shifts in dynamic graphs by discovering and utilizing {\it invariant patterns}, i.e., structures and features whose predictive abilities are stable across distribution shifts, which faces two key challenges: 1) How to discover the complex variant and invariant spatio-temporal patterns in dynamic graphs, which involve both time-varying graph structures and node features. 2) How to handle spatio-temporal distribution shifts with the discovered variant and invariant patterns. To tackle these challenges, we propose the Disentangled Intervention-based Dynamic graph Attention networks (DIDA). Our proposed method can effectively handle spatio-temporal distribution shifts in dynamic graphs by discovering and fully utilizing invariant spatio-temporal patterns. Specifically, we first propose a disentangled spatio-temporal attention network to capture the variant and invariant patterns. Then, we design a spatio-temporal intervention mechanism to create multiple interventional distributions by sampling and reassembling variant patterns across neighborhoods and time stamps to eliminate the spurious impacts of variant patterns. Lastly, we propose an invariance regularization term to minimize the variance of predictions in intervened distributions so that our model can make predictions based on invariant patterns with stable predictive abilities and therefore handle distribution shifts. Experiments on three real-world datasets and one synthetic dataset demonstrate the superiority of our method over state-of-the-art baselines under distribution shifts. Our work is the first study of spatio-temporal distribution shifts in dynamic graphs, to the best of our knowledge.

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