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Neuron-level Interpretation of Deep NLP Models: A Survey


The proliferation of deep neural networks in various domains has seen an increased need for interpretability of these models. Preliminary work done along this line and papers that surveyed such, are focused on high-level representation analysis. However, a recent branch of work has concentrated on interpretability at a more granular level of analyzing neurons within these models. In this paper, we survey the work done on neuron analysis including: i) methods to discover and understand neurons in a network, ii) evaluation methods, iii) major findings including cross architectural comparisons that neuron analysis has unraveled, iv) applica- tions of neuron probing such as: controlling the model, domain adaptation etc., and v) a discussion on open issues and future research directions.

Presented at ACL 2023 Article at MIT Press