The Rashomon set is the set of models that perform approximately equally well on a given dataset, and the Rashomon ratio is the fraction of all models in a given hypothesis space that are in the Rashomon set. Rashomon ratios are often large for tabular datasets in criminal justice, healthcare, lending, education, and in other areas, which has practical implications about whether simpler models can attain the same level of accuracy as more complex models. An open question is why Rashomon ratios often tend to be large. In this work, we propose and study a mechanism of the data generation process, coupled with choices usually made by the analyst during the learning process, that determines the size of the Rashomon ratio. Specifically, we demonstrate that noisier datasets lead to larger Rashomon ratios through the way that practitioners train models. Additionally, we introduce a measure called pattern diversity, which captures the average difference in predictions between distinct classification patterns in the Rashomon set, and motivate why it tends to increase with label noise. Our results explain a key aspect of why simpler models often tend to perform as well as black box models on complex, noisier datasets.
We present ProtoConcepts, a method for interpretable image classification combining deep learning and case-based reasoning using prototypical parts. Existing work in prototype-based image classification uses a ``this looks like that'' reasoning process, which dissects a test image by finding prototypical parts and combining evidence from these prototypes to make a final classification. However, all of the existing prototypical part-based image classifiers provide only one-to-one comparisons, where a single training image patch serves as a prototype to compare with a part of our test image. With these single-image comparisons, it can often be difficult to identify the underlying concept being compared (e.g., ``is it comparing the color or the shape?''). Our proposed method modifies the architecture of prototype-based networks to instead learn prototypical concepts which are visualized using multiple image patches. Having multiple visualizations of the same prototype allows us to more easily identify the concept captured by that prototype (e.g., ``the test image and the related training patches are all the same shade of blue''), and allows our model to create richer, more interpretable visual explanations. Our experiments show that our ``this looks like those'' reasoning process can be applied as a modification to a wide range of existing prototypical image classification networks while achieving comparable accuracy on benchmark datasets.
Recent statistical and reinforcement learning methods have significantly advanced patient care strategies. However, these approaches face substantial challenges in high-stakes contexts, including missing data, inherent stochasticity, and the critical requirements for interpretability and patient safety. Our work operationalizes a safe and interpretable framework to identify optimal treatment regimes. This approach involves matching patients with similar medical and pharmacological characteristics, allowing us to construct an optimal policy via interpolation. We perform a comprehensive simulation study to demonstrate the framework's ability to identify optimal policies even in complex settings. Ultimately, we operationalize our approach to study regimes for treating seizures in critically ill patients. Our findings strongly support personalized treatment strategies based on a patient's medical history and pharmacological features. Notably, we identify that reducing medication doses for patients with mild and brief seizure episodes while adopting aggressive treatment for patients in intensive care unit experiencing intense seizures leads to more favorable outcomes.
This paper studies the utility of techniques within uncertainty quantification, namely spectral projection and polynomial chaos expansion, in reducing sampling needs for characterizing acoustic metamaterial dispersion band responses given stochastic material properties and geometric defects. A novel method of encoding geometric defects in an interpretable, resolution independent is showcased in the formation of input space probability distributions. Orders of magnitude sampling reductions down to $\sim10^0$ and $\sim10^1$ are achieved in the 1D and 7D input space scenarios respectively while maintaining accurate output space probability distributions through combining Monte Carlo, quadrature rule, and sparse grid sampling with surrogate model fitting.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. It is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and other cardiovascular complications, but can be clinically silent. Passive AF monitoring with wearables may help reduce adverse clinical outcomes related to AF. Detecting AF in noisy wearable data poses a significant challenge, leading to the emergence of various deep learning techniques. Previous deep learning models learn from a single modality, either electrocardiogram (ECG) or photoplethysmography (PPG) signals. However, deep learning models often struggle to learn generalizable features and rely on features that are more susceptible to corruption from noise, leading to sub-optimal performances in certain scenarios, especially with low-quality signals. Given the increasing availability of ECG and PPG signal pairs from wearables and bedside monitors, we propose a new approach, SiamAF, leveraging a novel Siamese network architecture and joint learning loss function to learn shared information from both ECG and PPG signals. At inference time, the proposed model is able to predict AF from either PPG or ECG and outperforms baseline methods on three external test sets. It learns medically relevant features as a result of our novel architecture design. The proposed model also achieves comparable performance to traditional learning regimes while requiring much fewer training labels, providing a potential approach to reduce future reliance on manual labeling.
Quantifying variable importance is essential for answering high-stakes questions in fields like genetics, public policy, and medicine. Current methods generally calculate variable importance for a given model trained on a given dataset. However, for a given dataset, there may be many models that explain the target outcome equally well; without accounting for all possible explanations, different researchers may arrive at many conflicting yet equally valid conclusions given the same data. Additionally, even when accounting for all possible explanations for a given dataset, these insights may not generalize because not all good explanations are stable across reasonable data perturbations. We propose a new variable importance framework that quantifies the importance of a variable across the set of all good models and is stable across the data distribution. Our framework is extremely flexible and can be integrated with most existing model classes and global variable importance metrics. We demonstrate through experiments that our framework recovers variable importance rankings for complex simulation setups where other methods fail. Further, we show that our framework accurately estimates the true importance of a variable for the underlying data distribution. We provide theoretical guarantees on the consistency and finite sample error rates for our estimator. Finally, we demonstrate its utility with a real-world case study exploring which genes are important for predicting HIV load in persons with HIV, highlighting an important gene that has not previously been studied in connection with HIV. Code is available here.
Smart watches and other wearable devices are equipped with photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors for monitoring heart rate and other aspects of cardiovascular health. However, PPG signals collected from such devices are susceptible to corruption from noise and motion artifacts, which cause errors in heart rate estimation. Typical denoising approaches filter or reconstruct the signal in ways that eliminate much of the morphological information, even from the clean parts of the signal that would be useful to preserve. In this work, we develop an algorithm for denoising PPG signals that reconstructs the corrupted parts of the signal, while preserving the clean parts of the PPG signal. Our novel framework relies on self-supervised training, where we leverage a large database of clean PPG signals to train a denoising autoencoder. As we show, our reconstructed signals provide better estimates of heart rate from PPG signals than the leading heart rate estimation methods. Further experiments show significant improvement in Heart Rate Variability (HRV) estimation from PPG signals using our algorithm. We conclude that our algorithm denoises PPG signals in a way that can improve downstream analysis of many different health metrics from wearable devices.
Photoplethysmography (PPG) provides a low-cost, non-invasive method to continuously monitor various cardiovascular parameters. PPG signals are generated by wearable devices and frequently contain large artifacts caused by external factors, such as motion of the human subject. In order to ensure robust and accurate extraction of physiological parameters, corrupted areas of the signal need to be identified and handled appropriately. Previous methodology relied either on handcrafted feature detectors or signal metrics which yield sub-optimal performance, or relied on machine learning techniques such as deep neural networks (DNN) which lack interpretability and are computationally and memory intensive. In this work, we present a novel method to learn a small set of interpretable convolutional kernels that has performance similar to -- and often better than -- the state-of-the-art DNN approach with several orders of magnitude fewer parameters. This work allows for efficient, robust, and interpretable signal quality assessment and artifact segmentation on low-power devices.
Experimental and observational studies often lack validity due to untestable assumptions. We propose a double machine learning approach to combine experimental and observational studies, allowing practitioners to test for assumption violations and estimate treatment effects consistently. Our framework tests for violations of external validity and ignorability under milder assumptions. When only one assumption is violated, we provide semi-parametrically efficient treatment effect estimators. However, our no-free-lunch theorem highlights the necessity of accurately identifying the violated assumption for consistent treatment effect estimation. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach in three real-world case studies, highlighting its relevance for practical settings.
Missing values are a fundamental problem in data science. Many datasets have missing values that must be properly handled because the way missing values are treated can have large impact on the resulting machine learning model. In medical applications, the consequences may affect healthcare decisions. There are many methods in the literature for dealing with missing values, including state-of-the-art methods which often depend on black-box models for imputation. In this work, we show how recent advances in interpretable machine learning provide a new perspective for understanding and tackling the missing value problem. We propose methods based on high-accuracy glass-box Explainable Boosting Machines (EBMs) that can help users (1) gain new insights on missingness mechanisms and better understand the causes of missingness, and (2) detect -- or even alleviate -- potential risks introduced by imputation algorithms. Experiments on real-world medical datasets illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods.