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The Taub Faculty of Computer Science Events and Talks

A General Search-based Framework for Generating Textual
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Daniel Gilo (M.Sc. Thesis Seminar)
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Monday, 03.07.2023, 12:00
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Zoom Lecture: 92212370744 and Taub 401
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Advisor: Prof. Shaul Markovitch
One of the prominent methods for explaining the decision of a machine-learning classifier is by a counterfactual example. Most current algorithms for generating such examples in the textual domain are based on generative language models. Generative models, however, are trained to minimize a specific loss function in order to fulfill certain requirements for the generated texts. Any change in the requirements may necessitate costly retraining, thus potentially limiting their applicability. We present a general search-based framework for generating counterfactual explanations in the textual domain. Our framework is model-agnostic, domain-agnostic, anytime, and is able to adapt to changes in the user requirements without retraining. We model the task as a search problem in a space where the initial state is the classified text, and the goal state is a text in a given target class. Our framework includes domain-independent modification operators, but can also exploit domain-specific knowledge through specialized operators. The search algorithm attempts to find a text from the target class with minimal user-specified distance from the original classified object.