Global explainability in aligned image modalities

by   Justin Engelmann, et al.

Deep learning (DL) models are very effective on many computer vision problems and increasingly used in critical applications. They are also inherently black box. A number of methods exist to generate image-wise explanations that allow practitioners to understand and verify model predictions for a given image. Beyond that, it would be desirable to validate that a DL model generally works in a sensible way, i.e. consistent with domain knowledge and not relying on undesirable data artefacts. For this purpose, the model needs to be explained globally. In this work, we focus on image modalities that are naturally aligned such that each pixel position represents a similar relative position on the imaged object, as is common in medical imaging. We propose the pixel-wise aggregation of image-wise explanations as a simple method to obtain label-wise and overall global explanations. These can then be used for model validation, knowledge discovery, and as an efficient way to communicate qualitative conclusions drawn from inspecting image-wise explanations. We further propose Progressive Erasing Plus Progressive Restoration (PEPPR) as a method to quantitatively validate that these global explanations are faithful to how the model makes its predictions. We then apply these methods to ultra-widefield retinal images, a naturally aligned modality. We find that the global explanations are consistent with domain knowledge and faithfully reflect the model's workings.


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