Does a Neural Network Really Encode Symbolic Concepts?

Published: 24 Apr 2023, Last Modified: 15 Jun 2023ICML 2023 PosterEveryoneRevisions
Abstract: Recently, a series of studies have tried to extract interactions between input variables modeled by a DNN and define such interactions as concepts encoded by the DNN. However, strictly speaking, there still lacks a solid guarantee whether such interactions indeed represent meaningful concepts. Therefore, in this paper, we examine the trustworthiness of interaction concepts from four perspectives. Extensive empirical studies have verified that a well-trained DNN usually encodes sparse, transferable, and discriminative concepts, which is partially aligned with human intuition. The code is released at
Submission Number: 717