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DALEX: Explainers for Complex Predictive Models in R

Przemyslaw Biecek; 19(84):1−5, 2018.


Predictive modeling is invaded by elastic, yet complex methods such as neural networks or ensembles (model stacking, boosting or bagging). Such methods are usually described by a large number of parameters or hyper parameters - a price that one needs to pay for elasticity. The very number of parameters makes models hard to understand. This paper describes a consistent collection of explainers for predictive models, a.k.a. black boxes. Each explainer is a technique for exploration of a black box model. Presented approaches are model-agnostic, what means that they extract useful information from any predictive method irrespective of its internal structure. Each explainer is linked with a specific aspect of a model. Some are useful in decomposing predictions, some serve better in understanding performance, while others are useful in understanding importance and conditional responses of a particular variable. Every explainer presented here works for a single model or for a collection of models. In the latter case, models can be compared against each other. Such comparison helps to find strengths and weaknesses of different models and gives additional tools for model validation. Presented explainers are implemented in the DALEX package for R. They are based on a uniform standardized grammar of model exploration which may be easily extended.

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