Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


SAME: Uncovering GNN Black Box with Structure-aware Shapley-based Multipiece Explanations

Ziyuan Ye · Rihan Huang · Qilin Wu · Quanying Liu

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1524

Abstract: Post-hoc explanation techniques on graph neural networks (GNNs) provide economical solutions for opening the black-box graph models without model retraining. Many GNN explanation variants have achieved state-of-the-art explaining results on a diverse set of benchmarks, while they rarely provide theoretical analysis for their inherent properties and explanatory capability. In this work, we propose $\underline{\text{S}}$tructure-$\underline{\text{A}}$ware Shapley-based $\underline{\text{M}}$ultipiece $\underline{\text{E}}$xplanation (SAME) method to address the structure-aware feature interactions challenges for GNNs explanation. Specifically, SAME leverages an expansion-based Monte Carlo tree search to explore the multi-grained structure-aware connected substructure. Afterward, the explanation results are encouraged to be informative of the graph properties by optimizing the combination of distinct single substructures. With the consideration of fair feature interactions in the process of investigating multiple connected important substructures, the explanation provided by SAME has the potential to be as explainable as the theoretically optimal explanation obtained by the Shapley value within polynomial time. Extensive experiments on real-world and synthetic benchmarks show that SAME improves the previous state-of-the-art fidelity performance by 12.9\% on BBBP, 7.01\% on MUTAG, 42.3\% on Graph-SST2, 38.9\% on Graph-SST5, 11.3\% on BA-2Motifs and 18.2\% on BA-Shapes under the same testing condition. Code is available at

Chat is not available.