Learning to Intervene on Concept Bottlenecks

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David Steinmann, Wolfgang Stammer, Felix Friedrich, Kristian Kersting


While traditional deep learning models often lack interpretability, concept bottleneck models (CBMs) provide inherent explanations via their concept representations. Specifically, they allow users to perform interventional interactions on these concepts by updating the concept values and thus correcting the predictive output of the model. Traditionally, however, these interventions are applied to the model only once and discarded afterward. To rectify this, we present concept bottleneck memory models (CB2M), an extension to CBMs. Specifically, a CB2M learns to generalize interventions to appropriate novel situations via a two-fold memory with which it can learn to detect mistakes and to reapply previous interventions. In this way, a CB2M learns to automatically improve model performance from a few initially obtained interventions. If no prior human interventions are available, a CB2M can detect potential mistakes of the CBM bottleneck and request targeted interventions. In our experimental evaluations on challenging scenarios like handling distribution shifts and confounded training data, we illustrate that CB2M are able to successfully generalize interventions to unseen data and can indeed identify wrongly inferred concepts. Overall, our results show that CB2M is a great tool for users to provide interactive feedback on CBMs, e.g., by guiding a user's interaction and requiring fewer interventions.

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