On Validating, Repairing and Refining Heuristic ML Explanations

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent years have witnessed a fast-growing interest in computing explanations for Machine Learning (ML) models predictions. For non-interpretable ML models, the most commonly used approaches for computing explanations are heuristic in nature. In contrast, recent work proposed rigorous approaches for computing explanations, which hold for a given ML model and prediction over the entire instance space. This paper extends earlier work to the case of boosted trees and assesses the quality of explanations obtained with state-of-the-art heuristic approaches. On most of the datasets considered, and for the vast majority of instances, the explanations obtained with heuristic approaches are shown to be inadequate when the entire instance space is (implicitly) considered.


The Challenge of Crafting Intelligible Intelligence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Since Artificial Intelligence (AI) software uses techniques like deep lookahead search and stochastic optimization of huge neural networks to fit mammoth datasets, it often results in complex behavior that is difficult for people to understand. Yet organizations are deploying AI algorithms in many mission-critical settings. To trust their behavior, we must make AI intelligible, either by using inherently interpretable models or by developing new methods for explaining and controlling otherwise overwhelmingly complex decisions using local approximation, vocabulary alignment, and interactive explanation. This paper argues that intelligibility is essential, surveys recent work on building such systems, and highlights key directions for research.


Model Agnostic Contrastive Explanations for Structured Data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Recently, a method [7] was proposed to generate contrastive explanations for differentiable models such as deep neural networks, where one has complete access to the model. In this work, we propose a method, Model Agnostic Contrastive Explanations Method (MACEM), to generate contrastive explanations for \emph{any} classification model where one is able to \emph{only} query the class probabilities for a desired input. This allows us to generate contrastive explanations for not only neural networks, but models such as random forests, boosted trees and even arbitrary ensembles that are still amongst the state-of-the-art when learning on structured data [13]. Moreover, to obtain meaningful explanations we propose a principled approach to handle real and categorical features leading to novel formulations for computing pertinent positives and negatives that form the essence of a contrastive explanation. A detailed treatment of the different data types of this nature was not performed in the previous work, which assumed all features to be positive real valued with zero being indicative of the least interesting value. We part with this strong implicit assumption and generalize these methods so as to be applicable across a much wider range of problem settings. We quantitatively and qualitatively validate our approach over 5 public datasets covering diverse domains.


Global Aggregations of Local Explanations for Black Box models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The decision-making process of many state-of-the-art machine learning models is inherently inscrutable to the extent that it is impossible for a human to interpret the model directly: they are black box models. This has led to a call for research on explaining black box models, for which there are two main approaches. Global explanations that aim to explain a model's decision making process in general, and local explanations that aim to explain a single prediction. Since it remains challenging to establish fidelity to black box models in globally interpretable approximations, much attention is put on local explanations. However, whether local explanations are able to reliably represent the black box model and provide useful insights remains an open question. We present Global Aggregations of Local Explanations (GALE) with the objective to provide insights in a model's global decision making process. Overall, our results reveal that the choice of aggregation matters. We find that the global importance introduced by Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations (LIME) does not reliably represent the model's global behavior. Our proposed aggregations are better able to represent how features affect the model's predictions, and to provide global insights by identifying distinguishing features.


Abduction-Based Explanations for Machine Learning Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The growing range of applications of Machine Learning (ML) in a multitude of settings motivates the ability of computing small explanations for predictions made. Small explanations are generally accepted as easier for human decision makers to understand. Most earlier work on computing explanations is based on heuristic approaches, providing no guarantees of quality, in terms of how close such solutions are from cardinality- or subset-minimal explanations. This paper develops a constraint-agnostic solution for computing explanations for any ML model. The proposed solution exploits abductive reasoning, and imposes the requirement that the ML model can be represented as sets of constraints using some target constraint reasoning system for which the decision problem can be answered with some oracle. The experimental results, obtained on well-known datasets, validate the scalability of the proposed approach as well as the quality of the computed solutions.