Self-Interpretable Model with Transformation Equivariant Interpretation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Yipei Wang, Xiaoqian Wang


With the proliferation of machine learning applications in the real world, the demand for explaining machine learning predictions continues to grow especially in high-stakes fields. Recent studies have found that interpretation methods can be sensitive and unreliable, where the interpretations can be disturbed by perturbations or transformations of input data. To address this issue, we propose to learn robust interpretation through transformation equivariant regularization in a self-interpretable model. The resulting model is capable of capturing valid interpretation that is equivariant to geometric transformations. Moreover, since our model is self-interpretable, it enables faithful interpretations that reflect the true predictive mechanism. Unlike existing self-interpretable models, which usually sacrifice expressive power for the sake of interpretation quality, our model preserves the high expressive capability comparable to the state-of-the-art deep learning models in complex tasks, while providing visualizable and faithful high-quality interpretation. We compare with various related methods and validate the interpretation quality and consistency of our model.