Contextualized Policy Recovery: Modeling and Interpreting Medical Decisions with Adaptive Imitation Learning


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Interpretable policy learning seeks to estimate intelligible decision policies from observed actions; however, existing models force a tradeoff between accuracy and interpretability, limiting data-driven interpretations of human decision-making processes. Fundamentally, existing approaches are burdened by this tradeoff because they represent the underlying decision process as a universal policy, when in fact human decisions are dynamic and can change drastically under different contexts. Thus, we develop Contextualized Policy Recovery (CPR), which re-frames the problem of modeling complex decision processes as a multi-task learning problem, where each context poses a unique task and complex decision policies can be constructed piece-wise from many simple context-specific policies. CPR models each context-specific policy as a linear map, and generates new policy models on-demand as contexts are updated with new observations. We provide two flavors of the CPR framework: one focusing on exact local interpretability, and one retaining full global interpretability. We assess CPR through studies on simulated and real data, achieving state-of-the-art performance on predicting antibiotic prescription in intensive care units (+22% AUROC vs. previous SOTA) and predicting MRI prescription for Alzheimer's patients (+7.7% AUROC vs. previous SOTA). With this improvement, CPR closes the accuracy gap between interpretable and black-box methods, allowing high-resolution exploration and analysis of context-specific decision models.
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