Keep the Faith: Faithful Explanations in Convolutional Neural Networks for Case-Based Reasoning


Explaining predictions of black-box neural networks is crucial when applied to decision-critical tasks. Thus, attribution maps are commonly used to identify important image regions, despite prior work showing that humans prefer explanations based on similar examples. To this end, ProtoPNet learns a set of class-representative feature vectors (prototypes) for case-based reasoning. During inference, similarities of latent features to prototypes are linearly classified to form predictions and attribution maps are provided to explain the similarity. In this work, we evaluate whether architectures for case- based reasoning fulfill established axioms required for faithful explanations using the example of ProtoPNet. We show that such architectures allow the extraction of faithful explanations. However, we prove that the attribution maps used to explain the similarities violate the axioms. We propose a new procedure to extract explanations for trained ProtoPNets, named ProtoPFaith. Conceptually, these explanations are Shapley values, calculated on the similarity scores of each prototype. They allow to faithfully answer which prototypes are present in an unseen image and quantify each pixel’s contribution to that presence, thereby complying with all axioms. The theoretical violations of ProtoPNet manifest in our experiments on three datasets (CUB-200-2011, Stanford Dogs, RSNA) and five architectures (ConvNet, ResNet, ResNet50, WideResNet50, ResNeXt50). Our experiments show a qualitative difference between the explanations given by ProtoPNet and ProtoPFaith. Additionally, we quantify the explanations with the Area Over the Perturbation Curve, on which ProtoPFaith outperforms ProtoPNet on all experiments by a factor $>10^{3}$.
AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence