Interpreting Deep Learning Models with Marginal Attribution by Conditioning on Quantiles
27 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 22, 2021
A vastly growing literature on explaining deep learning models has emerged. This paper contributes to that literature by introducing a global gradient-based model-agnostic method, which we call Marginal Attribution by Conditioning on Quantiles (MACQ). Our approach is based on analyzing the marginal attribution of predictions (outputs) to individual features (inputs). Specificalllly, we consider variable importance by mixing (global) output levels and, thus, explain how features marginally contribute across different regions of the prediction space. Hence, MACQ can be seen as a marginal attribution counterpart to approaches such as accumulated local effects (ALE), which study the sensitivities of outputs by perturbing inputs. Furthermore, MACQ allows us to separate marginal attribution of individual features from interaction effect, and visually illustrate the 3-way relationship between marginal attribution, output level, and feature value.
Keywords: explainable AI (XAI), model-agnostic tools, deep learning, attribution, accumulated local eects (ALE), partial dependence plot (PDP), locally interpretable model-agnostic explanation (LIME), variable importance, post-hoc analysis
JEL Classification: C02
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation