GLOBE-CE: A Translation-Based Approach for Global Counterfactual Explanations

CoRR(2023)

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Abstract
Counterfactual explanations have been widely studied in explainability, with a range of application dependent methods prominent in fairness, recourse and model understanding. The major shortcoming associated with these methods, however, is their inability to provide explanations beyond the local or instance-level. While many works touch upon the notion of a global explanation, typically suggesting to aggregate masses of local explanations in the hope of ascertaining global properties, few provide frameworks that are both reliable and computationally tractable. Meanwhile, practitioners are requesting more efficient and interactive explainability tools. We take this opportunity to propose Global & Efficient Counterfactual Explanations (GLOBE-CE), a flexible framework that tackles the reliability and scalability issues associated with current state-of-the-art, particularly on higher dimensional datasets and in the presence of continuous features. Furthermore, we provide a unique mathematical analysis of categorical feature translations, utilising it in our method. Experimental evaluation with publicly available datasets and user studies demonstrate that GLOBE-CE performs significantly better than the current state-of-the-art across multiple metrics (e.g., speed, reliability).
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Key words
global counterfactual
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