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Gabriela Ben Melech Stan, Raanan Yehezkel Rohekar, Yaniv Gurwicz, Matthew Lyle Olson, Anahita Bhiwandiwalla, Estelle Aflalo, Chenfei Wu, Nan Duan, Shao-Yen Tseng, Vasudev Lal

In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, multi-modal large language models are emerging as a significant area of interest. These models, which combine various forms of data input, are becoming increasingly popular. However, understanding their internal mechanisms remains a complex task. Numerous advancements have been made in the field of explainability tools and mechanisms, yet there is still much to explore. In this work, we present a novel interactive application aimed towards understanding the internal mechanisms of large vision-language models. Our interface is designed to enhance the interpretability of the image patches, which are instrumental in generating an answer, and assess the efficacy of the language model in grounding its output in the image. With our application, a user can systematically investigate the model and uncover system limitations, paving the way for enhancements in system capabilities. Finally, we present a case study of how our application can aid in understanding failure mechanisms in a popular large multi-modal model: LLaVA.

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Julien Boussard, Chandni Nagda, Julia Kaltenborn, Charlotte Emilie Elektra Lange, Philippe Brouillard, Yaniv Gurwicz, Peer Nowack, David Rolnick

Climate models, such as Earth system models (ESMs), are crucial for simulating future climate change based on projected Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP) greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. While ESMs are sophisticated and invaluable, machine learning-based emulators trained on existing simulation data can project additional climate scenarios much faster and are computationally efficient. However, they often lack generalizability and interpretability. This work delves into the potential of causal representation learning, specifically the \emph{Causal Discovery with Single-parent Decoding} (CDSD) method, which could render climate model emulation efficient \textit{and} interpretable. We evaluate CDSD on multiple climate datasets, focusing on emissions, temperature, and precipitation. Our findings shed light on the challenges, limitations, and promise of using CDSD as a stepping stone towards more interpretable and robust climate model emulation.

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Julia Kaltenborn, Charlotte E. E. Lange, Venkatesh Ramesh, Philippe Brouillard, Yaniv Gurwicz, Chandni Nagda, Jakob Runge, Peer Nowack, David Rolnick

Climate models have been key for assessing the impact of climate change and simulating future climate scenarios. The machine learning (ML) community has taken an increased interest in supporting climate scientists' efforts on various tasks such as climate model emulation, downscaling, and prediction tasks. Many of those tasks have been addressed on datasets created with single climate models. However, both the climate science and ML communities have suggested that to address those tasks at scale, we need large, consistent, and ML-ready climate model datasets. Here, we introduce ClimateSet, a dataset containing the inputs and outputs of 36 climate models from the Input4MIPs and CMIP6 archives. In addition, we provide a modular dataset pipeline for retrieving and preprocessing additional climate models and scenarios. We showcase the potential of our dataset by using it as a benchmark for ML-based climate model emulation. We gain new insights about the performance and generalization capabilities of the different ML models by analyzing their performance across different climate models. Furthermore, the dataset can be used to train an ML emulator on several climate models instead of just one. Such a "super emulator" can quickly project new climate change scenarios, complementing existing scenarios already provided to policymakers. We believe ClimateSet will create the basis needed for the ML community to tackle climate-related tasks at scale.

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Raanan Y. Rohekar, Yaniv Gurwicz, Shami Nisimov

We propose a causal interpretation of self-attention in the Transformer neural network architecture. We interpret self-attention as a mechanism that estimates a structural equation model for a given input sequence of symbols (tokens). The structural equation model can be interpreted, in turn, as a causal structure over the input symbols under the specific context of the input sequence. Importantly, this interpretation remains valid in the presence of latent confounders. Following this interpretation, we estimate conditional independence relations between input symbols by calculating partial correlations between their corresponding representations in the deepest attention layer. This enables learning the causal structure over an input sequence using existing constraint-based algorithms. In this sense, existing pre-trained Transformers can be utilized for zero-shot causal-discovery. We demonstrate this method by providing causal explanations for the outcomes of Transformers in two tasks: sentiment classification (NLP) and recommendation.

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Raanan Y. Rohekar, Shami Nisimov, Yaniv Gurwicz, Gal Novik

We present a constraint-based algorithm for learning causal structures from observational time-series data, in the presence of latent confounders. We assume a discrete-time, stationary structural vector autoregressive process, with both temporal and contemporaneous causal relations. One may ask if temporal and contemporaneous relations should be treated differently. The presented algorithm gradually refines a causal graph by learning long-term temporal relations before short-term ones, where contemporaneous relations are learned last. This ordering of causal relations to be learnt leads to a reduction in the required number of statistical tests. We validate this reduction empirically and demonstrate that it leads to higher accuracy for synthetic data and more plausible causal graphs for real-world data compared to state-of-the-art algorithms.

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Raanan Y. Rohekar, Shami Nisimov, Yaniv Gurwicz, Gal Novik

We present a sound and complete algorithm, called iterative causal discovery (ICD), for recovering causal graphs in the presence of latent confounders and selection bias. ICD relies on the causal Markov and faithfulness assumptions and recovers the equivalence class of the underlying causal graph. It starts with a complete graph, and consists of a single iterative stage that gradually refines this graph by identifying conditional independence (CI) between connected nodes. Independence and causal relations entailed after any iteration are correct, rendering ICD anytime. Essentially, we tie the size of the CI conditioning set to its distance on the graph from the tested nodes, and increase this value in the successive iteration. Thus, each iteration refines a graph that was recovered by previous iterations having smaller conditioning sets -- a higher statistical power -- which contributes to stability. We demonstrate empirically that ICD requires significantly fewer CI tests and learns more accurate causal graphs compared to FCI, FCI+, and RFCI algorithms.

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Shami Nisimov, Yaniv Gurwicz, Raanan Y. Rohekar, Gal Novik

Causal discovery from observational data is an important tool in many branches of science. Under certain assumptions it allows scientists to explain phenomena, predict, and make decisions. In the large sample limit, sound and complete causal discovery algorithms have been previously introduced, where a directed acyclic graph (DAG), or its equivalence class, representing causal relations is searched. However, in real-world cases, only finite training data is available, which limits the power of statistical tests used by these algorithms, leading to errors in the inferred causal model. This is commonly addressed by devising a strategy for using as few as possible statistical tests. In this paper, we introduce such a strategy in the form of a recursive wrapper for existing constraint-based causal discovery algorithms, which preserves soundness and completeness. It recursively clusters the observed variables using the normalized min-cut criterion from the outset, and uses a baseline causal discovery algorithm during backtracking for learning local sub-graphs. It then combines them and ensures completeness. By an ablation study, using synthetic data, and by common real-world benchmarks, we demonstrate that our approach requires significantly fewer statistical tests, learns more accurate graphs, and requires shorter run-times than the baseline algorithm.

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Raanan Y. Rohekar, Yaniv Gurwicz, Shami Nisimov, Gal Novik

We present a sound and complete algorithm for recovering causal graphs from observed, non-interventional data, in the possible presence of latent confounders and selection bias. We rely on the causal Markov and faithfulness assumptions and recover the equivalence class of the underlying causal graph by performing a series of conditional independence (CI) tests between observed variables. We propose a single step that is applied iteratively, such that the independence and causal relations entailed from the resulting graph, after any iteration, is correct and becomes more informative with successive iteration. Essentially, we tie the size of the CI condition set to its distance from the tested nodes on the resulting graph. Each iteration refines the skeleton and orientation by performing CI tests having condition sets that are larger than in the preceding iteration. In an iteration, condition sets of CI tests are constructed from nodes that are within a specified search distance, and the sizes of these condition sets is equal to this search distance. The algorithm then iteratively increases the search distance along with the condition set sizes. Thus, each iteration refines a graph, that was recovered by previous iterations having smaller condition sets -- having a higher statistical power. We demonstrate that our algorithm requires significantly fewer CI tests and smaller condition sets compared to the FCI algorithm. This is evident for both recovering the true underlying graph using a perfect CI oracle, and accurately estimating the graph using limited observed data.

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Raanan Y. Rohekar, Yaniv Gurwicz, Shami Nisimov, Gal Novik

Quantifying and measuring uncertainty in deep neural networks, despite recent important advances, is still an open problem. Bayesian neural networks are a powerful solution, where the prior over network weights is a design choice, often a normal distribution or other distribution encouraging sparsity. However, this prior is agnostic to the generative process of the input data, which might lead to unwarranted generalization for out-of-distribution tested data. We suggest treating the generative process of the input data as a confounder for the relation between the input and the discriminative function, thereby conditioning the prior of the network weights on the distribution of the input. We propose an algorithm for modeling this confounder through neural connectivity patterns. This approach is ultimately translated into a new deep architecture---a compact hierarchy of networks. We demonstrate that sampling networks from this hierarchy, proportionally to their posterior, is efficient and enables estimating various types of uncertainties. Empirical evaluations of our method demonstrate significant improvement compared to state-of-the-art calibration and out-of-distribution detection methods.

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Raanan Y. Rohekar, Shami Nisimov, Yaniv Gurwicz, Guy Koren, Gal Novik

We introduce a principled approach for unsupervised structure learning of deep neural networks. We propose a new interpretation for depth and inter-layer connectivity where conditional independencies in the input distribution are encoded hierarchically in the network structure. Thus, the depth of the network is determined inherently. The proposed method casts the problem of neural network structure learning as a problem of Bayesian network structure learning. Then, instead of directly learning the discriminative structure, it learns a generative graph, constructs its stochastic inverse, and then constructs a discriminative graph. We prove that conditional-dependency relations among the latent variables in the generative graph are preserved in the class-conditional discriminative graph. We demonstrate on image classification benchmarks that the deepest layers (convolutional and dense) of common networks can be replaced by significantly smaller learned structures, while maintaining classification accuracy---state-of-the-art on tested benchmarks. Our structure learning algorithm requires a small computational cost and runs efficiently on a standard desktop CPU.

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