Interpreting Predictive Models through Causality: A Query-Driven Methodology




Machine learning algorithms have been widely adopted in recent years due to their efficiency and versatility across many fields. However, the complexity of predictive models has led to a lack of interpretability in automatic decision-making. Recent works have improved general interpretability by estimating the contributions of input features to the prediction of a pre-trained model. Despite these advancements, practitioners still seek to gain causal insights into the underlying data-generating mechanisms. To this end, some works have attempted to integrate causal knowledge into interpretability, as non-causal techniques can lead to paradoxical explanations. These efforts have provided answers to various queries, but relying on a single pre-trained model may result in quantification problems. In this paper, we argue that each causal query requires its own reasoning; thus, a single predictive model is not suited for all questions. Instead, we propose a new framework that prioritizes the query of interest and then derives a query-driven methodology accordingly to the structure of the causal model. It results in a tailored predictive model adapted to the query and an adapted interpretability technique. Specifically, it provides a numerical estimate of causal effects, which allows for accurate answers to explanatory questions when the causal structure is known.




How to Cite

Hadj Ali, M., Le Biannic, Y., & Wuillemin, P.-H. (2023). Interpreting Predictive Models through Causality: A Query-Driven Methodology. The International FLAIRS Conference Proceedings, 36(1).



Special Track: Explainability, Bias, and Trust