Understanding trained CNNs by indexing neuron selectivity

Ivet Rafegas, Maria Vanrell, Luís A. Alexandre

Nov 04, 2016 (modified: Dec 16, 2016) ICLR 2017 conference submission readers: everyone
  • Abstract: The impressive performance and plasticity of convolutional neural networks to solve different vision problems are shadowed by their black-box nature and its consequent lack of full understanding. To reduce this gap we propose to describe the activity of individual neurons by quantifiyng their inherent selectivity to specific properties. Our approach is based on the definition of feature selectivity indexes that allow the ranking of neurons according to specific properties. Here we report the results of exploring selectivity indexes for: (a) an image feature (color); and (b) an image label (class membership). Our contribution is a framework to seek or classify neurons by indexing on these selectivity properties. It helps to find color selective neurons, such as a red-mushroom neuron in layer conv4 or class selective neurons such as dog-face neurons in layer conv5, and establishes a methodology to derive other selectivity properties. Indexing on neuron selectivity can statistically draw how features and classes are represented through layers at a moment when the size of trained nets is growing and automatic tools to index can be helpful.
  • Conflicts: uab.cat, cvc.uab.cat, uab.es, cvc.uab.es, ubi.pt
  • Keywords: Computer vision, Deep learning