explAIner: A Visual Analytics Framework for Interactive and Explainable Machine Learning


We propose a framework for interactive and explainable machine learning that enables users to (1) understand machine learning models; (2) diagnose model limitations using different explainable AI methods; as well as (3) refine and optimize the models. Our framework combines an iterative XAI pipeline with eight global monitoring and steering mechanisms, including quality monitoring, provenance tracking, model comparison, and trust building. To operationalize the framework, we present explAIner, a visual analytics system for interactive and explainable machine learning that instantiates all phases of the suggested pipeline within the commonly used TensorBoard environment. We performed a user-study with nine participants across different expertise levels to examine their perception of our workflow and to collect suggestions to fill the gap between our system and framework. The evaluation confirms that our tightly integrated system leads to an informed machine learning process while disclosing opportunities for further extensions.

IEEE Trans. on Visualization and Computer Graphics