Evaluating Input Perturbation Methods for Interpreting CNNs and Saliency Map Comparison

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Input perturbation methods occlude parts of an input to a function and measure the change in the function’s output. Recently, input perturbation methods have been applied to generate and evaluate saliency maps from convolutional neural networks. In practice, neutral baseline images are used for the occlusion, such that the baseline image’s impact on the classification probability is minimal. However, in this paper we show that arguably neutral baseline images still impact the generated saliency maps and their evaluation with input perturbations. We also demonstrate that many choices of hyperparameters lead to the divergence of saliency maps generated by input perturbations. We experimentally reveal inconsistencies among a selection of input perturbation methods and find that they lack robustness for generating saliency maps and for evaluating saliency maps as saliency metrics.




Brunke, L., Agrawal, P., & George, N. (2020). Evaluating Input Perturbation Methods for Interpreting CNNs and Saliency Map Comparison. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 12535 LNCS, pp. 120–134). Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66415-2_8

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