Jean-Michel Loubes

Also published as: Jean-michel Loubes


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Are fairness metric scores enough to assess discrimination biases in machine learning?
Fanny Jourdan | Laurent Risser | Jean-michel Loubes | Nicholas Asher
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Trustworthy Natural Language Processing (TrustNLP 2023)

This paper presents novel experiments shedding light on the shortcomings of current metrics for assessing biases of gender discrimination made by machine learning algorithms on textual data. We focus on the Bios dataset, and our learning task is to predict the occupation of individuals, based on their biography. Such prediction tasks are common in commercial Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications such as automatic job recommendations. We address an important limitation of theoretical discussions dealing with group-wise fairness metrics: they focus on large datasets, although the norm in many industrial NLP applications is to use small to reasonably large linguistic datasets for which the main practical constraint is to get a good prediction accuracy. We then question how reliable are different popular measures of bias when the size of the training set is simply sufficient to learn reasonably accurate predictions. Our experiments sample the Bios dataset and learn more than 200 models on different sample sizes. This allows us to statistically study our results and to confirm that common gender bias indices provide diverging and sometimes unreliable results when applied to relatively small training and test samples. This highlights the crucial importance of variance calculations for providing sound results in this field.

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COCKATIEL: COntinuous Concept ranKed ATtribution with Interpretable ELements for explaining neural net classifiers on NLP
Fanny Jourdan | Agustin Picard | Thomas Fel | Laurent Risser | Jean-Michel Loubes | Nicholas Asher
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Transformer architectures are complex and their use in NLP, while it has engendered many successes, makes their interpretability or explainability challenging. Recent debates have shown that attention maps and attribution methods are unreliable (Pruthi et al., 2019; Brunner et al., 2019). In this paper, we present some of their limitations and introduce COCKATIEL, which successfully addresses some of them. COCKATIEL is a novel, post-hoc, concept-based, model-agnostic XAI technique that generates meaningful explanations from the last layer of a neural net model trained on an NLP classification task by using Non-Negative Matrix Factorization (NMF) to discover the concepts the model leverages to make predictions and by exploiting a Sensitivity Analysis to estimate accurately the importance of each of these concepts for the model. It does so without compromising the accuracy of the underlying model or requiring a new one to be trained. We conduct experiments in single and multi-aspect sentiment analysis tasks and we show COCKATIEL’s superior ability to discover concepts that align with humans’ on Transformer models without any supervision, we objectively verify the faithfulness of its explanations through fidelity metrics, and we showcase its ability to provide meaningful explanations in two different datasets. Our code is freely available: