Collaborating Authors

Copying Machine Learning Classifiers Machine Learning

We study model-agnostic copies of machine learning classifiers. We develop the theory behind the problem of copying, highlighting its differences with that of learning, and propose a framework to copy the functionality of any classifier using no prior knowledge of its parameters or training data distribution. We identify the different sources of loss and provide guidelines on how best to generate synthetic sets for the copying process. We further introduce a set of metrics to evaluate copies in practice. We validate our framework through extensive experiments using data from a series of well-known problems. We demonstrate the value of copies in use cases where desiderata such as interpretability, fairness or productivization constrains need to be addressed. Results show that copies can be exploited to enhance existing solutions and improve them adding new features and characteristics.

Differential Replication in Machine Learning Machine Learning

When deployed in the wild, machine learning models are usually confronted with data and requirements that constantly vary, either because of changes in the generating distribution or because external constraints change the environment where the model operates. To survive in such an ecosystem, machine learning models need to adapt to new conditions by evolving over time. The idea of model adaptability has been studied from different perspectives. In this paper, we propose a solution based on reusing the knowledge acquired by the already deployed machine learning models and leveraging it to train future generations. This is the idea behind differential replication of machine learning models. "If during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, [...] I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being's own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection."

Desiderata for Explainable AI in statistical production systems of the European Central Bank Artificial Intelligence

Explainable AI constitutes a fundamental step towards establishing fairness and addressing bias in algorithmic decision-making. Despite the large body of work on the topic, the benefit of solutions is mostly evaluated from a conceptual or theoretical point of view and the usefulness for real-world use cases remains uncertain. In this work, we aim to state clear user-centric desiderata for explainable AI reflecting common explainability needs experienced in statistical production systems of the European Central Bank. We link the desiderata to archetypical user roles and give examples of techniques and methods which can be used to address the user's needs. To this end, we provide two concrete use cases from the domain of statistical data production in central banks: the detection of outliers in the Centralised Securities Database and the data-driven identification of data quality checks for the Supervisory Banking data system.

Techniques for Interpretable Machine Learning

Communications of the ACM

Machine learning is progressing at an astounding rate, powered by complex models such as ensemble models and deep neural networks (DNNs). These models have a wide range of real-world applications, such as movie recommendations of Netflix, neural machine translation of Google, and speech recognition of Amazon Alexa. Despite the successes, machine learning has its own limitations and drawbacks. The most significant one is the lack of transparency behind their behaviors, which leaves users with little understanding of how particular decisions are made by these models. Consider, for instance, an advanced self-driving car equipped with various machine learning algorithms does not brake or decelerate when confronting a stopped firetruck. This unexpected behavior may frustrate and confuse users, making them wonder why. Even worse, the wrong decisions could cause severe consequences if the car is driving at highway speeds and might ultimately crash into the firetruck. The concerns about the black-box nature of complex models have hampered their further applications in our society, especially in those critical decision-making domains like self-driving cars. Interpretable machine learning would be an effective tool to mitigate these problems. It gives machine learning models the ability to explain or to present their behaviors in understandable terms to humans,10 which is called interpretability or explainability and we use them interchangeably in this article. Interpretability would be an indispensable part for machine learning models in order to better serve human beings and bring benefits to society. For end users, explanation will increase their trust and encourage them to adopt machine learning systems. From the perspective of machine learning system developers and researchers, the provided explanation can help them better understand the problem, the data and why a model might fail, and eventually increase the system safety. Thus, there is a growing interest among the academic and industrial community in interpreting machine learning models and gaining insights into their working mechanisms.

Accurate and Intuitive Contextual Explanations using Linear Model Trees Artificial Intelligence

With the ever-increasing use of complex machine learning models in critical applications within the finance domain, explaining the decisions of the model has become a necessity. With applications spanning from credit scoring to credit marketing, the impact of these models is undeniable. Among the multiple ways in which one can explain the decisions of these complicated models, local post hoc model agnostic explanations have gained massive adoption. These methods allow one to explain each prediction independent of the modelling technique that was used while training. As explanations, they either give individual feature attributions or provide sufficient rules that represent conditions for a prediction to be made. The current state of the art methods use rudimentary methods to generate synthetic data around the point to be explained. This is followed by fitting simple linear models as surrogates to obtain a local interpretation of the prediction. In this paper, we seek to significantly improve on both, the method used to generate the explanations and the nature of explanations produced. We use a Generative Adversarial Network for synthetic data generation and train a piecewise linear model in the form of Linear Model Trees to be used as the surrogate model.In addition to individual feature attributions, we also provide an accompanying context to our explanations by leveraging the structure and property of our surrogate model.