Explainable Activity Recognition for Smart Home Systems

by   Devleena Das, et al.

Smart home environments are designed to provide services that help improve the quality of life for the occupant via a variety of sensors and actuators installed throughout the space. Many automated actions taken by a smart home are governed by the output of an underlying activity recognition system. However, activity recognition systems may not be perfectly accurate and therefore inconsistencies in smart home operations can lead a user to wonder "why did the smart home do that?" In this work, we build on insights from Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) techniques to contribute computational methods for explainable activity recognition. Specifically, we generate explanations for smart home activity recognition systems that explain what about an activity led to the given classification. To do so, we introduce four computational techniques for generating natural language explanations of smart home data and compare their effectiveness at generating meaningful explanations. Through a study with everyday users, we evaluate user preferences towards the four explanation types. Our results show that the leading approach, SHAP, has a 92 of sampled scenarios users preferred natural language explanations over a simple activity label, underscoring the need for explainable activity recognition systems. Finally, we show that explanations generated by some XAI methods can lead users to lose confidence in the accuracy of the underlying activity recognition model, while others lead users to gain confidence. Taking all studied factors into consideration, we make a recommendation regarding which existing XAI method leads to the best performance in the domain of smart home automation, and discuss a range of topics for future work in this area.


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