"Predicting" after peeking into the future: Correcting a fundamental flaw in the SAOM – TERGM comparison of Leifeld and Cranmer (2019)

by   Per Block, et al.

We review the empirical comparison of SAOMs and TERGMs by Leifeld and Cranmer (2019) in Network Science. We note that their model specification uses nodal covariates calculated from observed degrees instead of using structural effects, thus turning endogeneity into circularity. In consequence, their out-of-sample predictions using TERGMs are based on out-of-sample information and thereby predict the future using observations from the future. We conclude that their analysis rest on erroneous model specifications that render the article's conclusions meaningless. Consequently, researchers should disregard recommendations from the criticized paper when making informed modelling choices.


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