Learning Decision Trees Recurrently Through Communication
Stephan Alaniz, Diego Marcos, Bernt Schiele, Zeynep Akata
IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR


Integrated interpretability without sacrificing the prediction accuracy of decision making algorithms has the potential of greatly improving their value to the user. Instead of assigning a label to an image directly, we propose to learn iterative binary sub-decisions, inducing sparsity and transparency in the decision making process. The key aspect of our model is its ability to build a decision tree whose structure is encoded into the memory representation of a Recurrent Neural Network jointly learned by two models communicating through message passing. In addition, our model assigns a semantic meaning to each decision in the form of binary attributes, providing concise, semantic and relevant rationalizations to the user. On three benchmark image classification datasets, including the large-scale ImageNet, our model generates human interpretable binary decision sequences explaining the predictions of the network while maintaining state-of-the-art accuracy.

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