Towards Accountability Driven Development for Machine Learning Systems

Chiu Pang Fung, Wei Pang, Iman Naja, Milan Markovic, Peter Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

29 Downloads (Pure)


With rapid deployment of Machine Learning (ML) systems into diverse domains such as healthcare and autonomous driving, important questions regarding accountability in case of incidents resulting from ML errors remain largely unsolved. To improve accountability of ML systems, we introduce a framework called Accountability Driven Development (ADD). Our framework reuses Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) approach to describe testing scenarios and system behaviours in ML Systems’ development using natural language, guides and forces developers and intended users to actively record necessary accountability information in the design and implementation stages. In this paper, we illustrate how to transform accountability requirements to specific scenarios and provide syntax to describe them. The use of natural language allows non technical collaborators such as stakeholders and non ML domain experts deeply engaged in ML system development to provide more comprehensive evidence to support system’s accountability. This framework also attributes the responsibility to the whole project team including the intended users rather than putting all the accountability burden on ML engineers only. Moreover, this framework can be considered as a combination of both system test and acceptance test, thus making the development more efficient. We hope this work can attract more engineers to use our idea, which enables them to create more accountable ML systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021
EventSICSA Workshop on eXplainable Artificial Intelligence 2021 - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jun 20211 Jun 2021


  • Accountability
  • Behaviour driven development
  • Machine learning
  • Model card

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards Accountability Driven Development for Machine Learning Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this