Interpretability versus Explainability: Classification for Understanding Deep Learning Systems and Models

  • Ivars Namatēvs Institute of Electronics and Computer Science
  • Kaspars Sudars Institute of Electronics and Computer Science
  • Artis Dobrājs Mondot Ltd.


The techniques of explainability and interpretability are not alternatives for many realworld problems, as recent studies often suggest. Interpretable machine learning is not a subset of explainable artificial intelligence or vice versa. While the former aims to build glass-box predictive models, the latter seeks to understand a black box using an explanatory model, a surrogate model, an attribution approach, relevance importance, or other statistics. There is concern that definitions, approaches, and methods do not match, leading to the inconsistent classification of deep learning systems and models for interpretation and explanation. In this paper, we attempt to systematically evaluate and classify the various basic methods of interpretability and explainability used in the field of deep learning. One goal of this paper is to provide specific definitions for interpretability and explainability in Deep Learning. Another goal is to spell out the various research methods for interpretability and explainability through the lens of the literature to create a systematic classifier for interpretability and explainability in deep learning. We present a classifier that summarizes the basic techniques and methods of explainability and interpretability models. The evaluation of the classifier provides insights into the challenges of developing a complete and unified deep learning framework for interpretability and explainability concepts, approaches, and techniques.


explainable artificial intelligence, interpretable machine learning, deep learning, deep neural networks, interpretability, explainability,


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Jul 14, 2022
How to Cite
NAMATĒVS, Ivars; SUDARS, Kaspars; DOBRĀJS, Artis. Interpretability versus Explainability: Classification for Understanding Deep Learning Systems and Models. Computer Assisted Methods in Engineering and Science, [S.l.], v. 29, n. 4, p. 297–356, july 2022. ISSN 2956-5839. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 may 2024. doi: