From Black-Box to White-Box: Interpretable Learning with Kernel Machines

  • Hao ZhangEmail author
  • Shinji Nakadai
  • Kenji Fukumizu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10934)


We present a novel approach to interpretable learning with kernel machines. In many real-world learning tasks, kernel machines have been successfully applied. However, a common perception is that they are difficult to interpret by humans due to the inherent black-box nature. This restricts the application of kernel machines in domains where model interpretability is highly required. In this paper, we propose to construct interpretable kernel machines. Specifically, we design a new kernel function based on random Fourier features (RFF) for scalability, and develop a two-phase learning procedure: in the first phase, we explicitly map pairwise features to a high-dimensional space produced by the designed kernel, and learn a dense linear model; in the second phase, we extract an interpretable data representation from the first phase, and learn a sparse linear model. Finally, we evaluate our approach on benchmark datasets, and demonstrate its usefulness in terms of interpretability by visualization.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NEC CorporationTokyoJapan
  2. 2.The Institute of Statistical MathematicsTokyoJapan

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