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Computing Abductive Explanations for Boosted Trees

Gilles Audemard · Jean-Marie Lagniez · Pierre Marquis · Nicolas Szczepanski

Auditorium 1 Foyer 149


Boosted trees is a dominant ML model, exhibiting high accuracy. However, boosted trees are hardly intelligible, and this is a problem whenever they are used in safety-critical applications. Indeed, in such a context, provably sound explanations for the predictions made are expected. Recent work have shown how subset-minimal abductive explanations can be derived for boosted trees, using automated reasoning techniques. However, the generation of such well-founded explanations is intractable in the general case. To improve the scalability of their generation, we introduce the notion of tree-specific explanation for a boosted tree. We show that tree-specific explanations are provably sound abductive explanations that can be computed in polynomial time. We also explain how to derive a subset-minimal abductive explanation from a tree-specific explanation. Experiments on various datasets show the computational benefits of leveraging tree-specific explanations for deriving subset-minimal abductive explanations.

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