Model-Agnostic Counterfactual Explanations for Consequential Decisions

Amir-Hossein Karimi, Gilles Barthe, Borja Balle, Isabel Valera
; Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 108:895-905, 2020.

Abstract

Predictive models are being increasingly used to support consequential decision making at the individual level in contexts such as pretrial bail and loan approval. As a result, there is increasing social and legal pressure to provide explanations that help the affected individuals not only to understand why a prediction was output, but also how to act to obtain a desired outcome. To this end, several works have proposed optimization-based methods to generate nearest counterfactual explanations. However, these methods are often restricted to a particular subset of models (e.g., decision trees or linear models) and differentiable distance functions. In contrast, we build on standard theory and tools from formal verification and propose a novel algorithm that solves a sequence of satisfiability problems, where both the distance function (objective) and predictive model (constraints) are represented as logic formulae. As shown by our experiments on real-world data, our algorithm is: i) model-agnostic ({non-}linear, {non-}differentiable, {non-}convex); ii) data-type-agnostic (heterogeneous features); iii) distance-agnostic (l0, l1, l8, and combinations thereof); iv) able to generate plausible and diverse counterfactuals for any sample (i.e., 100% coverage); and v) at provably optimal distances.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v108-karimi20a, title = {Model-Agnostic Counterfactual Explanations for Consequential Decisions}, author = {Karimi, Amir-Hossein and Barthe, Gilles and Balle, Borja and Valera, Isabel}, pages = {895--905}, year = {2020}, editor = {Silvia Chiappa and Roberto Calandra}, volume = {108}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, address = {Online}, month = {26--28 Aug}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v108/karimi20a/karimi20a.pdf}, url = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v108/karimi20a.html}, abstract = {Predictive models are being increasingly used to support consequential decision making at the individual level in contexts such as pretrial bail and loan approval. As a result, there is increasing social and legal pressure to provide explanations that help the affected individuals not only to understand why a prediction was output, but also how to act to obtain a desired outcome. To this end, several works have proposed optimization-based methods to generate nearest counterfactual explanations. However, these methods are often restricted to a particular subset of models (e.g., decision trees or linear models) and differentiable distance functions. In contrast, we build on standard theory and tools from formal verification and propose a novel algorithm that solves a sequence of satisfiability problems, where both the distance function (objective) and predictive model (constraints) are represented as logic formulae. As shown by our experiments on real-world data, our algorithm is: i) model-agnostic ({non-}linear, {non-}differentiable, {non-}convex); ii) data-type-agnostic (heterogeneous features); iii) distance-agnostic (l0, l1, l8, and combinations thereof); iv) able to generate plausible and diverse counterfactuals for any sample (i.e., 100% coverage); and v) at provably optimal distances.} }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T Model-Agnostic Counterfactual Explanations for Consequential Decisions %A Amir-Hossein Karimi %A Gilles Barthe %A Borja Balle %A Isabel Valera %B Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2020 %E Silvia Chiappa %E Roberto Calandra %F pmlr-v108-karimi20a %I PMLR %J Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %P 895--905 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press %V 108 %W PMLR %X Predictive models are being increasingly used to support consequential decision making at the individual level in contexts such as pretrial bail and loan approval. As a result, there is increasing social and legal pressure to provide explanations that help the affected individuals not only to understand why a prediction was output, but also how to act to obtain a desired outcome. To this end, several works have proposed optimization-based methods to generate nearest counterfactual explanations. However, these methods are often restricted to a particular subset of models (e.g., decision trees or linear models) and differentiable distance functions. In contrast, we build on standard theory and tools from formal verification and propose a novel algorithm that solves a sequence of satisfiability problems, where both the distance function (objective) and predictive model (constraints) are represented as logic formulae. As shown by our experiments on real-world data, our algorithm is: i) model-agnostic ({non-}linear, {non-}differentiable, {non-}convex); ii) data-type-agnostic (heterogeneous features); iii) distance-agnostic (l0, l1, l8, and combinations thereof); iv) able to generate plausible and diverse counterfactuals for any sample (i.e., 100% coverage); and v) at provably optimal distances.
APA
Karimi, A., Barthe, G., Balle, B. & Valera, I.. (2020). Model-Agnostic Counterfactual Explanations for Consequential Decisions. Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, in PMLR 108:895-905

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