By Professor Cynthia Rudin, Duke University
Let us consider a difficult computer vision challenge. Would you want an algorithm to determine whether you should get a biopsy, based on an xray? That’s usually a decision made by a radiologist, based on years of training. We know that algorithms haven’t worked perfectly for a multitude of other computer vision applications, and biopsy decisions are harder than just about any other application of computer vision that we typically consider. The interesting question is whether it is possible that an algorithm could be a true partner to a physician, rather than making the decision on its own. To do this, at the very least, we would need an interpretable neural network that is as accurate as its black box counterparts. In this talk, I will discuss two approaches to interpretable neural networks: (1) case-based reasoning, where parts of images are compared to other parts of prototypical images for each class, and (2) neural disentanglement, using a technique called concept whitening. The case-based reasoning technique is strictly better than saliency maps, and the concept whitening technique provides a strict advantage over the posthoc use of concept vectors. Here are the papers I will discuss:
- This Looks Like That: Deep Learning for Interpretable Image Recognition. NeurIPS spotlight, 2019.
- Concept Whitening for Interpretable Image Recognition. Nature Machine Intelligence, 2020.
- Stop Explaining Black Box Machine Learning Models for High Stakes Decisions and use Interpretable Models Instead, Nature Machine Intelligence, 2019.
- IAIA-BL: A Case-based Interpretable Deep Learning Model for Classification of Mass Lesions in Digital Mammography, 2021.
- Interpretable Machine Learning: Fundamental Principles and 10 Grand Challenges, 2021
Cynthia Rudin is a professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and statistical science at Duke University, and directs the Prediction Analysis Lab, whose main focus is in interpretable machine learning. She is also an associate director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI). Previously, Prof. Rudin held positions at MIT, Columbia, and NYU. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo, and a PhD from Princeton University. She is a three-time winner of the INFORMS Innovative Applications in Analytics Award, was named as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by Poets and Quants in 2015, and was named by Businessinsider.com as one of the 12 most impressive professors at MIT in 2015. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Some of her (collaborative) projects are: (1) she has developed practical code for optimal decision trees and sparse scoring systems, used for creating models for high stakes decisions. Some of these models are used to manage treatment and monitoring for patients in intensive care units of hospitals. (2) She led the first major effort to maintain a power distribution network with machine learning (in NYC). (3) She developed algorithms for crime series detection, which allow police detectives to find patterns of housebreaks. Her code was developed with detectives in Cambridge MA, and later adopted by the NYPD. (4) She solved several well-known previously open theoretical problems about the convergence of AdaBoost and related boosting methods. (5) She is a co-lead of the Almost-Matching-Exactly lab, which develops matching methods for use in interpretable causal inference.