Programs as Black-Box Explanations

11/22/2016 ∙ by Sameer Singh, et al. ∙ University of California, Irvine University of Washington 0

Recent work in model-agnostic explanations of black-box machine learning has demonstrated that interpretability of complex models does not have to come at the cost of accuracy or model flexibility. However, it is not clear what kind of explanations, such as linear models, decision trees, and rule lists, are the appropriate family to consider, and different tasks and models may benefit from different kinds of explanations. Instead of picking a single family of representations, in this work we propose to use "programs" as model-agnostic explanations. We show that small programs can be expressive yet intuitive as explanations, and generalize over a number of existing interpretable families. We propose a prototype program induction method based on simulated annealing that approximates the local behavior of black-box classifiers around a specific prediction using random perturbations. Finally, we present preliminary application on small datasets and show that the generated explanations are intuitive and accurate for a number of classifiers.



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