Distilled Gradient Aggregation: Purify Features for Input Attribution in the Deep Neural Network

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Giyoung Jeon, Haedong Jeong, Jaesik Choi


Measuring the attribution of input features toward the model output is one of the popular post-hoc explanations on the Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). Among various approaches to compute the attribution, the gradient-based methods are widely used to generate attributions, because of its ease of implementation and the model-agnostic characteristic. However, existing gradient integration methods such as Integrated Gradients (IG) suffer from (1) the noisy attributions which cause the unreliability of the explanation, and (2) the selection for the integration path which determines the quality of explanations. FullGrad (FG) is an another approach to construct the reliable attributions by focusing the locality of piece-wise linear network with the bias gradient. Although FG has shown reasonable performance for the given input, as the shortage of the global property, FG is vulnerable to the small perturbation, while IG which includes the exploration over the input space is robust. In this work, we design a new input attribution method which adopt the strengths of both local and global attributions.In particular, we propose a novel approach to distill input features using weak and extremely positive contributor masks. We aggregate the intermediate local attributions obtained from the distillation sequence to provide reliable attribution. We perform the quantitative evaluation compared to various attribution methods and show that our method outperforms others. We also provide the qualitative result that our method obtains object-aligned and sharp attribution heatmap.