2006 IAAI Brett Poulin, Roman Eisner, Duane Szafron, Paul Lu, Russ Greiner, D.S. Wishart, Alona Fyshe, Brandon Pearcy, Cam MacDonell and John Anvik, Visual Explanation of Evidence in Additive Classifiers, 18th Conference on Innovative Applications of Arificial Intelligence (IAAI), July 2006, 1822-1829. abstract or pdf.

Machine-learned classifiers are important components of many data mining and knowledge discovery systems. In several application domains, an explanation of the classifier's reasoning is critical for the classifier’s acceptance by the end-user. We describe a framework, ExplainD, for explaining decisions made by classifiers that use additive evidence. ExplainD applies to many widely used classifiers, including linear discriminants and many additive models. We demonstrate our ExplainD framework using implementations of naïve Bayes, linear support vector machine, and logistic regression classifiers on example applications. ExplainD uses a simple graphical explanation of the classification process to provide visualizations of the classifier decisions, visualization of the evidence for those decisions, the capability to speculate on the effect of changes to the data, and the capability, wherever possible, to drill down and audit the source of the evidence. We demonstrate the effectiveness of ExplainD in the context of a deployed web-based system (Proteome Analyst) and using a downloadable Python-based implementation.