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Learning Prescriptive ReLU Networks

Wei Sun · Asterios Tsiourvas

Exhibit Hall 1 #127
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We study the problem of learning optimal policy from a set of discrete treatment options using observational data. We propose a piecewise linear neural network model that can balance strong prescriptive performance and interpretability, which we refer to as the prescriptive ReLU network, or P-ReLU. We show analytically that this model (i) partitions the input space into disjoint polyhedra, where all instances that belong to the same partition receive the same treatment, and (ii) can be converted into an equivalent prescriptive tree with hyperplane splits for interpretability. We demonstrate the flexibility of the P-ReLU network as constraints can be easily incorporated with minor modifications to the architecture. Through experiments, we validate the superior prescriptive accuracy of P-ReLU against competing benchmarks. Lastly, we present examples of prescriptive trees extracted from trained P-ReLUs using a real-world dataset, for both the unconstrained and constrained scenarios.

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