Towards Bridging the FL Performance-Explainability Trade-Off: A Trustworthy 6G RAN Slicing Use-Case

by   Swastika Roy, et al.

In the context of sixth-generation (6G) networks, where diverse network slices coexist, the adoption of AI-driven zero-touch management and orchestration (MANO) becomes crucial. However, ensuring the trustworthiness of AI black-boxes in real deployments is challenging. Explainable AI (XAI) tools can play a vital role in establishing transparency among the stakeholders in the slicing ecosystem. But there is a trade-off between AI performance and explainability, posing a dilemma for trustworthy 6G network slicing because the stakeholders require both highly performing AI models for efficient resource allocation and explainable decision-making to ensure fairness, accountability, and compliance. To balance this trade off and inspired by the closed loop automation and XAI methodologies, this paper presents a novel explanation-guided in-hoc federated learning (FL) approach where a constrained resource allocation model and an explainer exchange – in a closed loop (CL) fashion – soft attributions of the features as well as inference predictions to achieve a transparent 6G network slicing resource management in a RAN-Edge setup under non-independent identically distributed (non-IID) datasets. In particular, we quantitatively validate the faithfulness of the explanations via the so-called attribution-based confidence metric that is included as a constraint to guide the overall training process in the run-time FL optimization task. In this respect, Integrated-Gradient (IG) as well as Input × Gradient and SHAP are used to generate the attributions for our proposed in-hoc scheme, wherefore simulation results under different methods confirm its success in tackling the performance-explainability trade-off and its superiority over the unconstrained Integrated-Gradient post-hoc FL baseline.


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