Article reference:

M. Egmont-Petersen, W.R.M. Dassen, C.J.H.J. Kirchhof, J. Heijmeriks, A.W. Ambergen. "An explanation facility for a neural network trained to predict atrial fibrillation directly after cardiac surgery," In: Proceedings of Computers in Cardiology 1998, Cleveland, pp. 489-492, 1998.


An explanation facility is presented that makes it possible to elucidate why a neural network assigns a particular class label to a case. The explanation facility is developed as a remedy to the black-box problem of neural networks which impedes their use for (clinical) decision support. The method is based on ideas from feature selection. For a classified case, variables are identified that can possibly change the classification of a case. These variables are subsequently ranked according to their importance for the classification of the case. The method is evaluated on a classification problem in cardiology: the prediction of atrial fibrillation directly after cardiac surgery.

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