Fast Generic Interaction Detection for Model Interpretability and Compression

Tianjian Zhang · Feng Yin · Zhi-Quan Luo

[ Abstract ]
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Mon 25 Apr 6:30 p.m. PDT — 8:30 p.m. PDT


The ability of discovering feature interactions in a black-box model is vital to explainable deep learning. We propose a principled, global interaction detection method by casting our target as a multi-arm bandits problem and solving it swiftly with the UCB algorithm. This adaptive method is free of ad-hoc assumptions and among the cutting-edge methods with outstanding detection accuracy and stability. Based on the detection outcome, a lightweight and interpretable deep learning model (called ParaACE) is further built using the alternating conditional expectation (ACE) method. Our proposed ParaACE improves the prediction performance by 26 % and reduces the model size by 100+ times as compared to its Teacher model over various datasets. Furthermore, we show the great potential of our method for scientific discovery through interpreting various real datasets in the economics and smart medicine sectors. The code is available at

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