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  Dr Y Sripada, Dr Mingjun Zhong  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

As more and more machine learning (ML) models, particularly black-box ML models (read deep learning models), are operationally deployed, users like to understand the inner workings of these ML models. The recent advancements in Interpretable Machine Learning (IML) and eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) created algorithms that open the black-box ML models to make information about the inner workings of ML models accessible to users. However, there are empirical studies that demonstrate that ‘opening the black-box’ to do a ‘mind dump’ does not really fulfil user needs. User needs, in this context, are best expressed in a wide range of questions – explanatory as well as contextual. Therefore, explanations are answers to user questions particularly the ‘why’ and the ‘why not’ questions.

In this PhD project, we will investigate how IML algorithms could be exploited to find answers to user questions seeking explanations. Because the resulting explanations answer specific user questions, they provide relevant information to the user and therefore fulfil user needs more directly keeping the user in control of the explanation process. Because the resulting explanations exploit multiple IML algorithms, user could probe different types of explanations leading to personalized understanding of the ML models.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Computer Science or related subjects.

Formal applications can be completed online:

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Computing Science

• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor

• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding

• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)

• Detailed CV, Personal Statement/Motivation Letter and Intended source of funding

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Y Sripada ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

This PhD project has no funding attached and is therefore available to students (UK/International) who are able to seek their own funding or sponsorship. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting
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