Artificial Intelligence Review

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 163–178

A Case-Based Explanation System for Black-Box Systems


DOI: 10.1007/s10462-005-4609-5

Cite this article as:
Nugent, C. & Cunningham, P. Artif Intell Rev (2005) 24: 163. doi:10.1007/s10462-005-4609-5


Most users of machine-learning products are reluctant to use them without any sense of the underlying logic that has led to the system’s predictions. Unfortunately many of these systems lack any transparency in the way they operate and are deemed to be black boxes. In this paper we present a Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) solution to providing supporting explanations of black-box systems. This CBR solution has two key facets; it uses local information to assess the importance of each feature and using this, it selects the cases from the data used to build the black-box system for use in explanation. The retrieval mechanism takes advantage of the derived feature importance information to help select cases that are a better reflection of the black-box solution and thus more convincing explanations.


black-box systems case-based reasoning explanation 

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, Trinity College, Machine Learning GroupUniversity of DublinDublinIreland

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