Ablation-CAM: Visual Explanations for Deep Convolutional Network via Gradient-free Localization

Published in "The IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision"
Harish G. Ramaswamy , Saurabh Desai

In response to recent criticism of gradient-based visualization techniques, we propose a new methodology to generate visual explanations for deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) - based models. Our approach Ablation-based Class Activation Mapping (Ablation CAM) uses ablation analysis to determine the importance (weights) of individual feature map units w.r.t. class. Further, this is used to produce a coarse localization map highlighting the important regions in the image for predicting the concept. Our objective and subjective evaluations show that this gradient-free approach works better than state-of-the-art Grad-CAM technique. Moreover, further experiments are carried out to show that Ablation-CAM is class discriminative as well as can be used to evaluate trust in a model.