Collaborating Authors

Explanation Ontology: A Model of Explanations for User-Centered AI Artificial Intelligence

Explainability has been a goal for Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems since their conception, with the need for explainability growing as more complex AI models are increasingly used in critical, high-stakes settings such as healthcare. Explanations have often added to an AI system in a non-principled, post-hoc manner. With greater adoption of these systems and emphasis on user-centric explainability, there is a need for a structured representation that treats explainability as a primary consideration, mapping end user needs to specific explanation types and the system's AI capabilities. We design an explanation ontology to model both the role of explanations, accounting for the system and user attributes in the process, and the range of different literature-derived explanation types. We indicate how the ontology can support user requirements for explanations in the domain of healthcare. We evaluate our ontology with a set of competency questions geared towards a system designer who might use our ontology to decide which explanation types to include, given a combination of users' needs and a system's capabilities, both in system design settings and in real-time operations. Through the use of this ontology, system designers will be able to make informed choices on which explanations AI systems can and should provide.

Providing Explanations for Recommendations in Reciprocal Environments Artificial Intelligence

Automated platforms which support users in finding a mutually beneficial match, such as online dating and job recruitment sites, are becoming increasingly popular. These platforms often include recommender systems that assist users in finding a suitable match. While recommender systems which provide explanations for their recommendations have shown many benefits, explanation methods have yet to be adapted and tested in recommending suitable matches. In this paper, we introduce and extensively evaluate the use of "reciprocal explanations" -- explanations which provide reasoning as to why both parties are expected to benefit from the match. Through an extensive empirical evaluation, in both simulated and real-world dating platforms with 287 human participants, we find that when the acceptance of a recommendation involves a significant cost (e.g., monetary or emotional), reciprocal explanations outperform standard explanation methods which consider the recommendation receiver alone. However, contrary to what one may expect, when the cost of accepting a recommendation is negligible, reciprocal explanations are shown to be less effective than the traditional explanation methods.

Explanation Ontology in Action: A Clinical Use-Case Artificial Intelligence

We addressed the problem of a lack of semantic representation for user-centric explanations and different explanation types in our Explanation Ontology ( Such a representation is increasingly necessary as explainability has become an important problem in Artificial Intelligence with the emergence of complex methods and an uptake in high-precision and user-facing settings. In this submission, we provide step-by-step guidance for system designers to utilize our ontology, introduced in our resource track paper, to plan and model for explanations during the design of their Artificial Intelligence systems. We also provide a detailed example with our utilization of this guidance in a clinical setting.

On the Use of Opinionated Explanations to Rank and Justify Recommendations

AAAI Conferences

Explanations are an important part of modern recommender systems. They help users to make better decisions, improve the conversion rate of browsers into buyers, and lead to greater user satisfaction in the long-run. In this paper, we extend recent work on generating explanations by mining user reviews. We show how this leads to a novel explanation format that can be tailored for the needs of the individual user. Moreover, we demonstrate how the explanations themselves can be used to rank recommendations so that items which can be associated with a more compelling explanation are ranked ahead of items that have a less compelling explanation. We evaluate our approach using a large-scale, real-world TripAdvisor dataset.

Subgoal-Based Explanations for Unreliable Intelligent Decision Support Systems Artificial Intelligence

Intelligent decision support (IDS) systems leverage artificial intelligence techniques to generate recommendations that guide human users through the decision making phases of a task. However, a key challenge is that IDS systems are not perfect, and in complex real-world scenarios may produce incorrect output or fail to work altogether. The field of explainable AI planning (XAIP) has sought to develop techniques that make the decision making of sequential decision making AI systems more explainable to end-users. Critically, prior work in applying XAIP techniques to IDS systems has assumed that the plan being proposed by the planner is always optimal, and therefore the action or plan being recommended as decision support to the user is always correct. In this work, we examine novice user interactions with a non-robust IDS system -- one that occasionally recommends the wrong action, and one that may become unavailable after users have become accustomed to its guidance. We introduce a novel explanation type, subgoal-based explanations, for planning-based IDS systems, that supplements traditional IDS output with information about the subgoal toward which the recommended action would contribute. We demonstrate that subgoal-based explanations lead to improved user task performance, improve user ability to distinguish optimal and suboptimal IDS recommendations, are preferred by users, and enable more robust user performance in the case of IDS failure