Measuring the Novelty of Natural Language Text Using the Conjunctive Clauses of a Tsetlin Machine Text Classifier

Most supervised text classification approaches assume a closed world, counting on all classes being present in the data at training time. This assumption can lead to unpredictable behaviour during operation, whenever novel, previously unseen, classes appear. Although deep learning-based methods have recently been used for novelty detection, they are challenging to interpret due to their black-box nature. This paper addresses \emph{interpretable} open-world text classification, where the trained classifier must deal with novel classes during operation. To this end, we extend the recently introduced Tsetlin machine (TM) with a novelty scoring mechanism. The mechanism uses the conjunctive clauses of the TM to measure to what degree a text matches the classes covered by the training data. We demonstrate that the clauses provide a succinct interpretable description of known topics, and that our scoring mechanism makes it possible to discern novel topics from the known ones. Empirically, our TM-based approach outperforms seven other novelty detection schemes on three out of five datasets, and performs second and third best on the remaining, with the added benefit of an interpretable propositional logic-based representation.

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