Extracting Rules from Artificial Neural Networks with Distributed Representations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 7 (NIPS 1994)

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Sebastian Thrun


Although artificial neural networks have been applied in a variety of real-world scenarios with remarkable success, they have often been criticized for exhibiting a low degree of human comprehensibility. Techniques that compile compact sets of symbolic rules out of artificial neural networks offer a promising perspective to overcome this obvious deficiency of neural network representations. This paper presents an approach to the extraction of if-then rules from artificial neu(cid:173) Its key mechanism is validity interval analysis, which is a generic ral networks. tool for extracting symbolic knowledge by propagating rule-like knowledge through Backpropagation-style neural networks. Empirical studies in a robot arm domain illus(cid:173) trate the appropriateness of the proposed method for extracting rules from networks with real-valued and distributed representations.