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Symbolic knowledge extraction from opaque predictors applied to cosmic-ray data gathered with LISA Pathfinder

Aeronautics and Aerospace Open Access Journal
Federico Sabbatini, Catia Grimani

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Machine learning models are nowadays ubiquitous in space missions, performing a wide variety of tasks ranging from the prediction of multivariate time series through the detection of specific patterns in the input data. Adopted models are usually deep neural networks or other complex machine learning algorithms providing predictions that are opaque, i.e., human users are not allowed to understand the rationale behind the provided predictions. Several techniques exist in the literature to combine the impressive predictive performance of opaque machine learning models with human-intelligible prediction explanations, as for instance the application of symbolic knowledge extraction procedures. In this paper are reported the results of different knowledge extractors applied to an ensemble predictor capable of reproducing cosmic-ray data gathered on board the LISA Pathfinder space mission. A discussion about the readability/fidelity trade-off of the extracted knowledge is also presented.


LISA Pathfinder, ensemble regressor, explainable AI, symbolic knowledge extraction