Best of both worlds: local and global explanations with human-understandable concepts

Sebastien Baur
Shaobo Hou
Eric Loreaux
Ralph Blanes
Been Kim


Interpretability techniques aim to provide the rationale behind a model's decision, typically by explaining either an individual prediction (local explanation, e.g. `why is this patient diagnosed with this condition') or a class of predictions (global explanation, e.g. `why is this set of patients diagnosed with this condition in general'). While there are many methods focused on either one, few frameworks can provide both local and global explanations in a consistent manner. In this work, we combine two powerful existing techniques, one local (Integrated Gradients, IG) and one global (Testing with Concept Activation Vectors), to provide local and global concept-based explanations. We first sanity check our idea using two synthetic datasets with a known ground truth, and further demonstrate with a benchmark natural image dataset. We test our method with various concepts, target classes, model architectures and IG parameters (e.g. baselines). We show that our method improves global explanations over vanilla TCAV when compared to ground truth, and provides useful local insights. Finally, a user study demonstrates the usefulness of the method compared to no or global explanations only. We hope our work provides a step towards building bridges between many existing local and global methods to get the best of both worlds.