Explaining decision-making algorithms through UI: Strategies to help non-expert stakeholders

Hao Fei Cheng, Ruotong Wang, Zheng Zhang, Fiona O'Connell, Terrance Gray, Max Harper, Haiyi Zhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasingly, algorithms are used to make important decisions across society. However, these algorithms are usually poorly understood, which can reduce transparency and evoke negative emotions. In this research, we seek to learn design principles for explanation interfaces that communicate how decision-making algorithms work, in order to help organizations explain their decisions to stakeholders, or to support users' "right to explanation". We conducted an online experiment where 199 participants used different explanation interfaces to understand an algorithm for making university admissions decisions. We measured users' objective and self-reported understanding of the algorithm. Our results show that both interactive explanations and "white-box" explanations (i.e. that show the inner workings of an algorithm) can improve users' comprehension. Although the interactive approach is more effective at improving comprehension, it comes with a trade-off of taking more time. Surprisingly, we also find that users' trust in algorithmic decisions is not affected by the explanation interface or their level of comprehension of the algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359702
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2019
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: May 4 2019May 9 2019

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period5/4/195/9/19

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM.

Copyright:
Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Algorithmic decision-making
  • Explanation interfaces

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