LIME Tabular Explainer via XAI

This tutorial demonstrates how to generate explanations using LIME’s tabular explainer implemented by the Contextual AI library.

At a high level, explanations can be obtained from any Contextual AI explanation algorithm in 3 steps:

  1. Create an explainer via the ExplainerFactory class, which serves as the primary interface between the user and all Contextual AI-supported explanation algorithms

  2. Build the explainer by calling the build_explainer method (which is implemented by any Contextual AI explanation algorithm) and providing arguments that are specific to that algorithm

  3. Get explanations for some data instance by calling the explain_instance method (which is also common among all algorithms) and provoding arguments that are specific to that algorithm

Step 1: Import libraries

xai.explainer.ExplainerFactory is the main class that users of Contextual AI interact with. xai contains some constants that are used to instantiate an AbstractExplainer object.

# Some auxiliary imports for the tutorial
import sys
import random
import numpy as np
from pprint import pprint
from sklearn import datasets
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
from sklearn.ensemble import RandomForestClassifier

# Set seed for reproducibility

# Set the path so that we can import ExplainerFactory

# Main Contextual AI imports
import xai
from xai.explainer import ExplainerFactory

Step 2: Train a model on a sample dataset

We train a sample RandomForestClassifier model on the Wisconsin breast cancer dataset, a sample binary classification problem that is provided by scikit-learn (details can be found here).

# Load the dataset and prepare training and test sets
raw_data = datasets.load_breast_cancer()
X, y = raw_data['data'], raw_data['target']
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size=0.2)

# Instantiate a classifier, train, and evaluate on test set
clf = RandomForestClassifier(), y_train)
clf.score(X_test, y_test)
/Users/i330688/venv_xai/lib/python3.6/site-packages/sklearn/ensemble/ FutureWarning: The default value of n_estimators will change from 10 in version 0.20 to 100 in 0.22.
  "10 in version 0.20 to 100 in 0.22.", FutureWarning)

Step 3: Instantiate the explainer

This is where we instantiate the Contextual AI explainer. This ExplainerFactory class is in charge of loading a particular explanation algorithm. The user is required to provide one argument - the domain, which indicates the domain of the training data (e.g. tabular or text). The available domains can be found in xai.DOMAIN. Users can also select a particular explainer algorithm by providing the algorithm’s name (registered in xai.ALG) to the algorithm parameter. If this argument is not provided, the ExplainerFactory.get_explainer method defaults to a pre-set algorithm for that domain which can be found in xai/explainer/

We want to load the LimeTabularExplainer, so we provide xai.DOMAIN.TABULAR as the argument to domain and xai.ALG.LIME as the argument to algorithm. Note that xai.ALG.LIME is the default tabular explanation algorithm; hence this also works:

explainer = ExplainerFactory.get_explainer(domain=xai.DOMAIN.TABULAR)
# Instantiate LimeTabularExplainer via the Explainer interface
explainer = ExplainerFactory.get_explainer(domain=xai.DOMAIN.TABULAR, algorithm=xai.ALG.LIME)

Step 4: Build the explainer

build_explainer calls the explanation algorithms initialization routine, which can include things like setting parameters or a pre-training loop. The LimeTabularExplainer requires the following parameters:

  • training_data (np.ndarray): 2d Numpy array representing the training data (or some representative subset) (required)

  • mode (str): Whether the problem is ‘classification’ or ‘regression’ (required)

  • predict_fn (function): A function that wraps the target model’s prediction function - it takes in a 1D numpy array and outputs a vector of probabilities which should sum to 1 (required)

Here are some other optional parameters: * training_labels (list): Training labels, which can be used by the continuous feature discretizer * feature_names (list): The names of the columns of the training data * categorical_features (list): Integer list indicating the indices of categorical features * dict_categorical_mapping (dict): Mapping of integer index of categorical feature (same as from categorical_features) to a list of values for that column. So dict_categorical_mapping[x][y] is the yth value of column x. * kernel_width (float): Width of the exponential kernel used in the LIME loss function * verbose (bool): Control verbosity. If true, local prediction values of the LIME model are printed * class_names (list): Class names (positional index corresponding to class index) * feature_selection (str): Feature selection method. See original docs for more details * discretize_continuous (True): Whether to discretize non-categorical features * discretizer (str): Type of discretization. See original docs for more details * sample_around_instance (True): if True, will sample continuous features in perturbed samples from a normal centered at the instance being explained. Otherwise, the normal is centered on the mean of the feature data. * random_state (int): The random seed to generate random numbers during training

In this particular example, we pass the RandomForestClassifier’s predict_proba function to predict_fn and get explanations for the two classes.


Step 5: Generate some explanations

Once we build the explainer, we can start generating some explanations via the explain_instance method. The LimeTabularExplainer expects several things, like: * instance (np.ndarray): A 1D numpy array corresponding to a row/single example (required)

You can also pass the following:

  • labels (list): The list of class indexes to produce explanations for

  • top_labels (int): If not None, this overwrites labels and the explainer instead produces explanations for the top k classes

  • num_features (int): Number of features to include in an explanation

  • num_samples (int): The number of perturbed samples to train the LIME model with

  • distance_metric (str): The distance metric to use for weighting the loss function

We restrict explanations to 10 features (meaning only 10 features will have scores attached to them). The output of explain_instance is a dictionary that maps each class to two things - the confidence of model and a list of explanations.

exp = explainer.explain_instance(

{0: {'explanation': [{'feature': 'worst perimeter <= 83.79',
                      'score': -0.10193695487658752},
                     {'feature': 'worst area <= 509.25',
                      'score': -0.09601666088375639},
                     {'feature': 'worst radius <= 12.93',
                      'score': -0.06025582708518221},
                     {'feature': 'mean area <= 419.25',
                      'score': -0.056302517885391166},
                     {'feature': 'worst texture <= 21.41',
                      'score': -0.05509499962470648}],
     'prediction': 0.0},
 1: {'explanation': [{'feature': 'worst perimeter <= 83.79',
                      'score': 0.10193695487658752},
                     {'feature': 'worst area <= 509.25',
                      'score': 0.0960166608837564},
                     {'feature': 'worst radius <= 12.93',
                      'score': 0.06025582708518222},
                     {'feature': 'mean area <= 419.25',
                      'score': 0.05630251788539119},
                     {'feature': 'worst texture <= 21.41',
                      'score': 0.05509499962470641}],
     'prediction': 1.0}}

Step 6: Save and load the explainer

Finally, every Contextual AI explainer supports saving and loading functions.

# Save the explainer somewhere

# Load the saved explainer in a new Explainer instance

new_explainer = ExplainerFactory.get_explainer(domain=xai.DOMAIN.TABULAR, algorithm=xai.ALG.LIME)

exp = new_explainer.explain_instance(

{0: {'explanation': [{'feature': 'worst perimeter <= 83.79',
                      'score': -0.09985606175737251},
                     {'feature': 'worst area <= 509.25',
                      'score': -0.08623375147255567},
                     {'feature': 'mean area <= 419.25',
                      'score': -0.07671371631709668},
                     {'feature': 'worst radius <= 12.93',
                      'score': -0.06861610584095608},
                     {'feature': 'worst texture <= 21.41',
                      'score': -0.05078617133441289}],
     'prediction': 0.0},
 1: {'explanation': [{'feature': 'worst perimeter <= 83.79',
                      'score': 0.09985606175737251},
                     {'feature': 'worst area <= 509.25',
                      'score': 0.08623375147255567},
                     {'feature': 'mean area <= 419.25',
                      'score': 0.0767137163170967},
                     {'feature': 'worst radius <= 12.93',
                      'score': 0.0686161058409561},
                     {'feature': 'worst texture <= 21.41',
                      'score': 0.05078617133441288}],
     'prediction': 1.0}}