Forward Composition Propagation for Explainable Neural Reasoning

Isel Grau, Gonzalo Nápoles, Marilyn Bello, Yamisleydi Salgueiro, Agnieszka Jastrzebska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

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This paper proposes an algorithm called Forward Composition Propagation (FCP) to explain the predictions of feed-forward neural networks operating on structured classification problems. In the proposed FCP algorithm, each neuron is described by a composition vector indicating the role of each problem feature in that neuron. Composition vectors are initialized using a given input instance and subsequently propagated through the whole network until we reach the output layer. It is worth mentioning that the algorithm is executed once the network's training network is done. The sign of each composition value indicates whether the corresponding feature excites or inhibits the neuron, while the absolute value quantifies such an impact. Aiming to illustrate the FCP algorithm, we develop a case study concerning bias detection in a fairness problem in which the ground truth is known. The simulation results show that the composition values closely align with the expected behavior of protected features.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2022


  • cs.LG
  • cs.AI


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