Accepted Papers

GroupINN: Grouping-based Interpretable Neural Network for Classification of Limited, Noisy Brain Data

Yujun Yan (University of Michigan);Jiong Zhu (University of Michigan);Marlena Duda (University of Michigan);Eric Solarz (University of Michigan);Chandra Sripada (University of Michigan);Danai Koutra (University of Michigan);


Mapping the human brain, or understanding how certain brain regions relate to specific aspects of cognition, has been and remains an active area of neuroscience research. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data—-in the form of images, time series or graphs—-are central in this research, but pose many challenges in phenotype prediction tasks (e.g., noisy, small training samples). Standardly employed handcrafted models and newly proposed neural network methods pose limitations in the expressive power and interpretability, respectively, in this context. In this work focusing on fMRI-derived brain graphs, a modality that partially handles some challenges of fMRI data, we propose a grouping-based interpretable neural network model, GroupINN, that effectively classifies cognitive performance with 85% fewer model parameters than baseline deep models, while also identifying the most predictive brain subnetworks within several task-specific contexts. Our method incorporates the idea of node grouping into the design of the neural network. That way, unlike other methods that employ clustering as a preprocessing step to reorder nodes, GroupINN learns the node grouping and extracts graph features jointly. Experiments on task-based fMRI datasets show that our method is $2.6-69\times$ faster than other deep models, while achieving comparable or better accuracy and providing interpretability.

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