Increasing trust in complex machine learning systems: Studies in the music domain

Jaehun Kim

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

110 Downloads (Pure)


Machine learning (ML) has become a core technology for many real-world applications. Modern ML models are applied to unprecedentedly complex and difficult challenges, including very large and subjective problems. For instance, applications towards multimedia understanding have been advanced substantially. Here, it is already prevalent that cultural/artistic objects such as music and videos are analyzed and served to users according to their preference, enabled throughML techniques.
One of the most recent breakthroughs in ML is Deep Learning (DL), which has been immensely adopted to tackle such complex problems. DL allows for higher learning capacity, making end-to-end learning possible, which reduces the need for substantial engineering effort, while achieving high effectiveness. At the same time, this also makes DL models more complex than conventional ML models. Reports in several domains indicate that such more complex ML models may have potentially critical hidden problems: various biases embedded in the training data can emerge in the prediction, extremely sensitive models can make unaccountable mistakes. Furthermore, the black-box nature of the DL models hinders the interpretation of the mechanisms behind them. Such unexpected drawbacks result in a significant impact on the trustworthiness of the systems in which the ML models are equipped as the core apparatus.
In this thesis, a series of studies investigates aspects of trustworthiness for complex ML applications, namely the reliability and explainability. Specifically, we focus on music as the primary domain of interest, considering its complexity and subjectivity. Due to this nature of music, ML models for music are necessarily complex for achieving meaningful effectiveness. As such, the reliability and explainability of music ML models are crucial in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Hanjalic, A., Supervisor
  • Liem, C.C.S., Advisor
Award date19 May 2021
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-418-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Trustworthy Machine Learning
  • Music Information Retrieval
  • Transfer Learning
  • Recommender Systems


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