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Transparency and Explanation in Deep Reinforcement Learning Neural Networks

Rahul Iyer, Yuezhang Li, Huao Li, Michael Lewis, Ramitha Sundar, Katia Sycara

Autonomous AI systems will be entering human society in the near future to provide services and work alongside humans. For those systems to be accepted and trusted, the users should be able to understand the reasoning process of the system, i.e. the system should be transparent. System transparency enables humans to form coherent explanations of the system's decisions and actions. Transparency is important not only for user trust, but also for software debugging and certification. In recent years, Deep Neural Networks have made great advances in multiple application areas. However, deep neural networks are opaque. In this paper, we report on work in transparency in Deep Reinforcement Learning Networks (DRLN). Such networks have been extremely successful in accurately learning action control in image input domains, such as Atari games. In this paper, we propose a novel and general method that (a) incorporates explicit object recognition processing into deep reinforcement learning models, (b) forms the basis for the development of "object saliency maps", to provide visualization of internal states of DRLNs, thus enabling the formation of explanations and (c) can be incorporated in any existing deep reinforcement learning framework. We present computational results and human experiments to evaluate our approach.

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