GPEX, A Framework For Interpreting Artificial Neural Networks

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Gaussian processes, Explainable AI
Abstract: The analogy between Gaussian processes (GPs) and deep artificial neural networks (ANNs) has received a lot of interest, and has shown promise to unbox the blackbox of deep ANNs. Existing theoretical works put strict assumptions on the ANN (e.g. requiring all intermediate layers to be wide, or using specific activation functions). Accommodating those theoretical assumptions is hard in recent deep architectures, and those theoretical conditions need refinement as new deep architectures emerge. In this paper we derive an evidence lower-bound that encourages the GP's posterior to match the ANN's output without any requirement on the ANN. Using our method we find out that on 5 datasets, only a subset of those theoretical assumptions are sufficient. Indeed, in our experiments we used a normal ResNet-18 or feed-forward backbone with a single wide layer in the end. One limitation of training GPs is the lack of scalability with respect to the number of inducing points. We use novel computational techniques that allow us to train GPs with hundreds of thousands of inducing points and with GPU acceleration. As shown in our experiments, doing so has been essential to get a close match between the GPs and the ANNs on 5 datasets. We implement our method as a publicly available tool called GPEX: On 5 datasets (4 image datasets, and 1 biological dataset) and ANNs with 2 types of functionality (classifier or attention-mechanism) we were able to find GPs whose outputs closely match those of the corresponding ANNs. After matching the GPs to the ANNs, we used the GPs' kernel functions to explain the ANNs' decisions. We provide more than 200 explanations (around 30 in the paper and the rest in the supplementary) which are highly interpretable by humans and show the ability of the obtained GPs to unbox the ANNs' decisions.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Submission Number: 1064