This Looks Like Those: Illuminating Prototypical Concepts Using Multiple Visualizations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper


Chiyu Ma, Brandon Zhao, Chaofan Chen, Cynthia Rudin


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.