Attaining XGBoost-level efficiency with the interpretability and velocity of CART – The Berkeley Synthetic Intelligence Analysis Weblog


FIGS (Quick Interpretable Grasping-tree Sums): A way for constructing interpretable fashions by concurrently rising an ensemble of resolution bushes in competitors with each other.

Current machine-learning advances have led to more and more complicated predictive fashions, usually at the price of interpretability. We frequently want interpretability, significantly in high-stakes purposes equivalent to in scientific decision-making; interpretable fashions assist with every kind of issues, equivalent to figuring out errors, leveraging area information, and making speedy predictions.

On this weblog put up we’ll cowl FIGS, a brand new technique for becoming an interpretable mannequin that takes the type of a sum of bushes. Actual-world experiments and theoretical outcomes present that FIGS can successfully adapt to a variety of construction in information, attaining state-of-the-art efficiency in a number of settings, all with out sacrificing interpretability.

How does FIGS work?

Intuitively, FIGS works by extending CART, a typical grasping algorithm for rising a call tree, to think about rising a sum of bushes concurrently (see Fig 1). At every iteration, FIGS could develop any current tree it has already began or begin a brand new tree; it greedily selects whichever rule reduces the entire unexplained variance (or another splitting criterion) essentially the most. To maintain the bushes in sync with each other, every tree is made to foretell the residuals remaining after summing the predictions of all different bushes (see the paper for extra particulars).

FIGS is intuitively much like ensemble approaches equivalent to gradient boosting / random forest, however importantly since all bushes are grown to compete with one another the mannequin can adapt extra to the underlying construction within the information. The variety of bushes and dimension/form of every tree emerge routinely from the info fairly than being manually specified.

Fig 1. Excessive-level instinct for a way FIGS suits a mannequin.

An instance utilizing FIGS

Utilizing FIGS is very simple. It’s simply installable by way of the imodels package deal (pip set up imodels) after which can be utilized in the identical approach as customary scikit-learn fashions: merely import a classifier or regressor and use the match and predict strategies. Right here’s a full instance of utilizing it on a pattern scientific dataset during which the goal is danger of cervical backbone damage (CSI).

from imodels import FIGSClassifier, get_clean_dataset
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split

# put together information (on this a pattern scientific dataset)
X, y, feat_names = get_clean_dataset('csi_pecarn_pred')
X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(
    X, y, test_size=0.33, random_state=42)

# match the mannequin
mannequin = FIGSClassifier(max_rules=4)  # initialize a mannequin
mannequin.match(X_train, y_train)   # match mannequin
preds = mannequin.predict(X_test) # discrete predictions: form is (n_test, 1)
preds_proba = mannequin.predict_proba(X_test) # predicted possibilities: form is (n_test, n_classes)

# visualize the mannequin
mannequin.plot(feature_names=feat_names, filename='out.svg', dpi=300)

This ends in a easy mannequin – it comprises solely 4 splits (since we specified that the mannequin should not have any greater than 4 splits (max_rules=4). Predictions are made by dropping a pattern down each tree, and summing the danger adjustment values obtained from the ensuing leaves of every tree. This mannequin is extraordinarily interpretable, as a doctor can now (i) simply make predictions utilizing the 4 related options and (ii) vet the mannequin to make sure it matches their area experience. Notice that this mannequin is only for illustration functions, and achieves ~84% accuracy.

Fig 2. Easy mannequin realized by FIGS for predicting danger of cervical spinal damage.

If we would like a extra versatile mannequin, we will additionally take away the constraint on the variety of guidelines (altering the code to mannequin = FIGSClassifier()), leading to a bigger mannequin (see Fig 3). Notice that the variety of bushes and the way balanced they’re emerges from the construction of the info – solely the entire variety of guidelines could also be specified.

Fig 3. Barely bigger mannequin realized by FIGS for predicting danger of cervical spinal damage.

How properly does FIGS carry out?

In lots of circumstances when interpretability is desired, equivalent to clinical-decision-rule modeling, FIGS is ready to obtain state-of-the-art efficiency. For instance, Fig 4 reveals completely different datasets the place FIGS achieves glorious efficiency, significantly when restricted to utilizing only a few complete splits.

Fig 4. FIGS predicts properly with only a few splits.

Why does FIGS carry out properly?

FIGS is motivated by the statement that single resolution bushes usually have splits which can be repeated in numerous branches, which can happen when there’s additive construction within the information. Having a number of bushes helps to keep away from this by disentangling the additive elements into separate bushes.


Total, interpretable modeling provides an alternative choice to widespread black-box modeling, and in lots of circumstances can provide large enhancements by way of effectivity and transparency with out affected by a loss in efficiency.

This put up relies on two papers: FIGS and G-FIGS – all code is obtainable by way of the imodels package deal. That is joint work with Keyan Nasseri, Abhineet Agarwal, James Duncan, Omer Ronen, and Aaron Kornblith.


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