Interpretable Companions for Black-Box Models

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Danqing Pan, Tong Wang, Satoshi Hara ;
Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 108:2444-2454, 2020.

Abstract

We present an interpretable companion model for any pre-trained black-box classifiers. The idea is that for any input, a user can decide to either receive a prediction from the black-box model, with high accuracy but no explanations, or employ a \emph{companion rule} to obtain an interpretable prediction with slightly lower accuracy. The companion model is trained from data and the predictions of the black-box model, with the objective combining area under the transparency–accuracy curve and model complexity. Our model provides flexible choices for practitioners who face the dilemma of choosing between always using interpretable models and always using black-box models for a predictive task, so users can, for any given input, take a step back to resort to an interpretable prediction if they find the predictive performance satisfying, or stick to the black-box model if the rules are unsatisfying. To show the value of companion models, we design a human evaluation on more than a hundred people to investigate the tolerable accuracy loss to gain interpretability for humans.

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