Interpretability and explainability of deep neural net models are always challenging due to their size and complexity. Many previous works focused on visualizing internal components of neural networks to represent them through human-friendly concepts. On the other hand, in real life, when making a decision, human tends to rely on similar situations in the past. Thus, we argue that one potential approach to make the model interpretable and explainable is to design it in a way such that the model explicitly connects the current sample with the seen samples, and bases its decision on these samples. In this work, we design one such model: an explainable, evidence-based memory network architecture, which learns to summarize the dataset and extract supporting evidences to make its decision. The model achieves state-of-the-art performance on two popular question answering datasets, the TrecQA dataset and the WikiQA dataset. Via further analysis, we showed that this model can reliably trace the errors it has made in the validation step to the training instances that might have caused this error. We believe that this error-tracing capability might be beneficial in improving dataset quality in many applications.
With the renaissance of deep learning, neural networks have achieved promising results on many natural language understanding (NLU) tasks. Even though the source codes of many neural network models are publicly available, there is still a large gap from open-sourced models to solving real-world problems in enterprises. Therefore, to fill this gap, we introduce AutoNLU, an on-demand cloud-based system with an easy-to-use interface that covers all common use-cases and steps in developing an NLU model. AutoNLU has supported many product teams within Adobe with different use-cases and datasets, quickly delivering them working models. To demonstrate the effectiveness of AutoNLU, we present two case studies. i) We build a practical NLU model for handling various image-editing requests in Photoshop. ii) We build powerful keyphrase extraction models that achieve state-of-the-art results on two public benchmarks. In both cases, end users only need to write a small amount of code to convert their datasets into a common format used by AutoNLU.