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Workshop: 4th Workshop on Self-Supervised Learning: Theory and Practice

Identifiable attribution maps using regularized contrastive learning

Steffen Schneider · Rodrigo Gonz├ílez Laiz · Markus Frey · Mackenzie Mathis


Gradient-based attribution methods aim to explain decisions of deep learning models, but so far lack identifiability guarantees. Here, we propose a method to generate attribution maps with identifiability guarantees by developing a regularized contrastive learning algorithm trained on time series data with continuous target labels. We show theoretically that our formulation of hybrid contrastive learning has favorable properties for identifying the Jacobian matrix of the data generating process, and is unable to overfit to random training distributions. Empirically, we demonstrate robust approximation of the ground-truth attribution map on synthetic data, and significant improvements across previous attribution methods based on feature ablation, Shapley values, and other gradient-based methods. Our work constitutes a first example of identifiable inference of attribution maps, and opens avenues for improving future attribution tools and better understanding neural dynamics and neural networks.

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