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In-Person Poster presentation / poster accept

Robust Explanation Constraints for Neural Networks

Matthew Wicker · Juyeon Heo · Luca Costabello · Adrian Weller

MH1-2-3-4 #96

Keywords: [ neural networks ] [ robustness certification ] [ explainability ] [ adversarial robustness ] [ Social Aspects of Machine Learning ]


Post-hoc explanation methods are used with the intent of providing insights about neural networks and are sometimes said to help engender trust in their outputs. However, popular explanations methods have been found to be fragile to minor perturbations of input features or model parameters. Relying on constraint relaxation techniques from non-convex optimization, we develop a method that upper-bounds the largest change an adversary can make to a gradient-based explanation via bounded manipulation of either the input features or model parameters. By propagating a compact input or parameter set as symbolic intervals through the forwards and backwards computations of the neural network we can formally certify the robustness of gradient-based explanations. Our bounds are differentiable, hence we can incorporate provable explanation robustness into neural network training. Empirically, our method surpasses the robustness provided by previous heuristic approaches. We find that our training method is the only method able to learn neural networks with certificates of explanation robustness across all six datasets tested.

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