Aggregating XAI methods for insights into geoscience models with correlated and high-dimensional rasters




Krell, Evan
Kamangir, Hamid
Collins, Waylon
King, Scott A
Tissot, Philippe


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Geoscience applications have been using sophisticated machine learning methods to model complex phenomena. These models are described as black boxes since it is unclear what relationships are learned. Models may exploit spurious associations that exist in the data. The lack of transparency may limit user’s trust, causing them to avoid high performance models since they cannot verify that it has learned realistic strategies. EXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) is a developing research area for investigating how models make their decisions. However, XAI methods are sensitive to feature correlations. This makes XAI challenging for high-dimensional models whose input rasters may have extensive spatial-temporal autocorrelation. Since many geospatial applications rely on complex models for target performance, a recommendation is to combine raster elements into semantically meaningful feature groups. However, it is challenging to determine how best to combine raster elements. Here, we explore the explanation sensitivity to grouping scheme. Experiments are performed on FogNet, a complex deep learning model that uses 3D Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) for coastal fog prediction. We demonstrate that explanations can be combined with domain knowledge to generate hypotheses about the model. Meteorological analysis of the XAI output reveal FogNet’s use of channels that capture relationships related to fog development, contributing to good overall model performance. However, analyses also reveal several deficiencies, including the reliance on channels and channel spatial patterns that correlate to the predominate fog type in the dataset, to make predictions of all fog types. Strategies to improve FogNet performance and trustworthiness are presented.



deep learning, explainable artificial intelligence, fog prediction, geoscience, machine learning


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under 1460 awards 2019758 and 1828380.


Attribution 4.0 International


Evan Krell, Hamid Kamangir, Waylon Collins, et al. Aggregating XAI methods for insights into geoscience models with correlated and high-dimensional rasters. Authorea. May 13, 2023. DOI: 10.22541/essoar.168394745.56383253/v1