Explainable Improved Ensembling for Natural Language and Vision (2018)
Ensemble methods are well-known in machine learning for improving prediction accuracy. However, they do not adequately discriminate among underlying component models. The measure of how good a model is can sometimes be estimated from “why” it made a specific prediction. We propose a novel approach called Stacking With Auxiliary Features (SWAF) that effectively leverages component models by integrating such relevant information from context to improve ensembling. Using auxiliary features, our algorithm learns to rely on systems that not just agree on an output prediction but also the source or origin of that output. We demonstrate our approach to challenging structured prediction problems in Natural Language Processing and Vision including Information Extraction, Object Detection, and Visual Question Answering. We also present a variant of SWAF for combining systems that do not have training data in an unsupervised ensemble with systems that do have training data. Our combined approach obtains a new state-of-the-art, beating our prior performance on Information Extraction. The state-of-the-art systems on many AI applications are ensembles of deep-learning models. These models are hard to interpret and can sometimes make odd mistakes. Explanations make AI systems more transparent and also justify their predictions. We propose a scalable approach to generate visual explanations for ensemble methods using the localization maps of the component systems. Crowdsourced human evaluation on two new metrics indicates that our ensemble’s explanation significantly qualitatively outperforms individual systems’ explanations.
PhD Thesis, Department of Computer Science, The University of Texas at Austin.

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Nazneen Rajani Ph.D. Alumni nrajani [at] cs utexas edu