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Disentangled Explanations of Neural Network Predictions by Finding Relevant Subspaces

Pattarawat Chormai
Jan Herrmann
Klaus-Robert Müller
Gregoire Montavon

December 30, 2022

Explainable AI transforms opaque decision strategies of ML models into explanations that are interpretable by the user, for example, identifying the contribution of each input feature to the prediction at hand. Such explanations, however, entangle the potentially multiple factors that enter into the overall complex decision strategy. We propose to disentangle explanations by finding relevant subspaces in activation space that can be mapped to more abstract human-understandable concepts and enable a joint attribution on concepts and input features. To automatically extract the desired representation, we propose new subspace analysis formulations that extend the principle of PCA and subspace analysis to explanations. These novel analyses, which we call principal relevant component analysis (PRCA) and disentangled relevant subspace analysis (DRSA), optimize relevance of projected activations rather than the more traditional variance or kurtosis. This enables a much stronger focus on subspaces that are truly relevant for the prediction and the explanation, in particular, ignoring activations or concepts to which the prediction model is invariant. Our approach is general enough to work alongside common attribution techniques such as Shapley Value, Integrated Gradients, or LRP. Our proposed methods show to be practically useful and compare favorably to the state of the art as demonstrated on benchmarks and three use cases.