ferret: a Framework for Benchmarking Explainers on Transformers

2 Aug 2022  ·  Giuseppe Attanasio, Eliana Pastor, Chiara Di Bonaventura, Debora Nozza ·

As Transformers are increasingly relied upon to solve complex NLP problems, there is an increased need for their decisions to be humanly interpretable. While several explainable AI (XAI) techniques for interpreting the outputs of transformer-based models have been proposed, there is still a lack of easy access to using and comparing them. We introduce ferret, a Python library to simplify the use and comparisons of XAI methods on transformer-based classifiers. With ferret, users can visualize and compare transformers-based models output explanations using state-of-the-art XAI methods on any free-text or existing XAI corpora. Moreover, users can also evaluate ad-hoc XAI metrics to select the most faithful and plausible explanations. To align with the recently consolidated process of sharing and using transformers-based models from Hugging Face, ferret interfaces directly with its Python library. In this paper, we showcase ferret to benchmark XAI methods used on transformers for sentiment analysis and hate speech detection. We show how specific methods provide consistently better explanations and are preferable in the context of transformer models.

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