Summer 2022

Summer Cluster: Interpretable Machine Learning

Jun. 27Aug. 5, 2022

This cluster will convene an interdisciplinary group of scholars to develop firm theoretical and philosophical foundations for addressing some major issues concerning interpretability of machine learning⁠–based models. Program participants include experts in theoretical computer science, machine learning, statistics, causal inference, and fairness and the present community on interpretability. We aim to address the following fundamental questions about how to best use machine learning for real-life tasks:

  1. What notions of interpretability might render models that are more amenable to monitoring by regulators?
  2. How can the quality and usefulness of interpretation in a given context (such as a particular human audience and for a particular domain problem) be evaluated both empirically and theoretically?
  3. For which of the desiderata that interpretability purports to address must we sacrifice predictive accuracy?
  4. Are there any feasibly measurable properties of neural networks that can yield significant insights into their input-output functionality? More generally, are there sound theoretical principles under which today’s deep learning tools can be leveraged to confer insights beyond their predictive accuracy?
  5. What role, if any, do various interpretation or explanation techniques have to offer the discourse on algorithmic fairness and discrimination? Are there any inherent trade-offs between notions of interpretability and fairness?

The cluster will address a variety of perspectives on defining and developing tools for achieving these goals in automated decision-making systems. 

sympa [at] (body: (Click here to subscribe to our announcements email list for this program).


Shai Ben-David (University of Waterloo), Zachary Lipton (Carnegie Mellon University), Ruth Urner (York University), Bin Yu (UC Berkeley)

Long-Term Participants (including Organizers):

Shai Ben-David (University of Waterloo), Simina Brânzei (Purdue University), Rich Caruana (Microsoft Research Redmond), Awa Dieng (Google Brain), Sina Fazelpour (Northeastern University), Himabindu Lakkaraju (Harvard University), Zachary Lipton (Carnegie Mellon University), Zachary Lipton (Carnegie Mellon University), Michal Moshkovitz (Tel Aviv University), Nati Srebro (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago), Gyorgy Turan (University of Illinois at Chicago), Ruth Urner (York University), M. Alex O. Vasilescu (UCLA), Benjamin D Wandelt (Sorbonne University), Bin Yu (UC Berkeley)

Visiting Graduate Students and Postdocs:

Sebastian Bordt (University of Tübingen), Tosca Lechner (University of Waterloo)


Jun. 27Jul. 1, 2022


Himabindu Lakkaraju (Harvard University), Zachary Lipton (Carnegie Mellon University), David Madigan (Columbia University), Deirdre Mulligan (UC Berkeley), Bin Yu (UC Berkeley)

If you are interested in joining this cluster, please see the Participate page.

Past Internal Program Activities

Thursday, September 10th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Sina Fazelpour (Carnegie Mellon University)
Monday, August 10th 11:00 am12:00 pm
Michal Moshkovitz
Thursday, August 6th 1:00 pm2:00 pm
Alice Xiang (Partnership on AI)
Monday, August 3rd 11:30 am12:00 pm
Shai Ben-David (University of Waterloo)
Monday, August 3rd 11:00 am11:30 am
Karolina Dziugaite (Element AI)
Thursday, July 30th 1:00 pm2:30 pm
Richard Zemel
Monday, July 27th 11:00 am12:30 pm
Chandan Singh (UC Berkeley)
Thursday, July 23rd 1:00 pm2:30 pm
Simina Branzei (Purdue University)
Monday, July 6th 11:00 am12:30 pm
Atoosa Kasirzadeh (University of Toronto & Australian National University)
Thursday, July 2nd 1:00 pm2:30 pm
Monday, June 29th 1:00 pm2:30 pm