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Fibers of Failure: Classifying Errors in Predictive Processes
Leo S. Carlsson, Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson, Gunnar Carlsson, Pär G. Jönsson
Predictive models are used in many different fields of science and engineering and are always prone to make faulty predictions. These faulty predictions can be more or less malignant depending on the model application. We describe fibers of failure (FiFa), a method to classify failure modes of predictive processes. Our method uses Mapper, an algorithm from topological data analysis (TDA), to build a graphical model of input data stratified by prediction errors. We demonstrate two ways to use the failure mode groupings: either to produce a correction layer that adjusts predictions by similarity to the failure modes; or to inspect members of the failure modes to illustrate and investigate what characterizes each failure mode. We demonstrate FiFa on two scenarios: a convolutional neural network (CNN) predicting MNIST images with added noise, and an artificial neural network (ANN) predicting the electrical energy consumption of an electric arc furnace (EAF). The correction layer on the CNN model improved its prediction accuracy significantly while the inspection of failure modes for the EAF model provided guiding insights into the domain-specific reasons behind several high-error regions.