Confusions over Time: An Interpretable Bayesian Model to Characterize Trends in Decision Making

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Himabindu Lakkaraju, Jure Leskovec


We propose Confusions over Time (CoT), a novel generative framework which facilitates a multi-granular analysis of the decision making process. The CoT not only models the confusions or error properties of individual decision makers and their evolution over time, but also allows us to obtain diagnostic insights into the collective decision making process in an interpretable manner. To this end, the CoT models the confusions of the decision makers and their evolution over time via time-dependent confusion matrices. Interpretable insights are obtained by grouping similar decision makers (and items being judged) into clusters and representing each such cluster with an appropriate prototype and identifying the most important features characterizing the cluster via a subspace feature indicator vector. Experimentation with real world data on bail decisions, asthma treatments, and insurance policy approval decisions demonstrates that CoT can accurately model and explain the confusions of decision makers and their evolution over time.