Minimum Relevant Features to Obtain Explainable Systems for Predicting Cardiovascular Disease Using the Statlog Data Set Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2021

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 18


  • 1285


  • 11 (3)

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2076-3417


  • Learning systems have been focused on creating models capable of obtaining the best results in error metrics. Recently, the focus has shifted to improvement in the interpretation and explanation of the results. The need for interpretation is greater when these models are used to support decision making. In some areas, this becomes an indispensable requirement, such as in medicine. The goal of this study was to define a simple process to construct a system that could be easily interpreted based on two principles: (1) reduction of attributes without degrading the performance of the prediction systems and (2) selecting a technique to interpret the final prediction system. To describe this process, we selected a problem, predicting cardiovascular disease, by analyzing the well-known Statlog (Heart) data set from the University of California"s Automated Learning Repository. We analyzed the cost of making predictions easier to interpret by reducing the number of features that explain the classification of health status versus the cost in accuracy. We performed an analysis on a large set of classification techniques and performance metrics, demonstrating that it is possible to construct explainable and reliable models that provide high quality predictive performance.


  • Computer Science


  • interpretable artificial intelligence; cardiovascular disease prediction; machine learning; healthcare