Explainable Fake News Detection Based on BERT and SHAP Applied to COVID-19

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Xiuping Men 1,2,* Vladimir Y. Mariano 1

1. National University, College of Computing and Information Technologies, Manila, 1008, Philippine

2. Anhui University of Finance and Economics, School of Management Science and Engineering, Bengbu, 233030, China

* Corresponding author.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5815/ijmecs.2024.01.02

Received: 23 Apr. 2023 / Revised: 5 Jun. 2023 / Accepted: 13 Jul. 2023 / Published: 8 Feb. 2024

Index Terms

Covid-19, Fake news, Explainability, SHAP, BERT, Knowledge Distillation


Fake news detection has become a significant research top in natural language processing. Since the outbreak of the covid-19 epidemic, a large amount of fake news about covid-19 has spread on social media, making the detection of fake news a challenging task. Applying deep learning models may improve predictions. However, their lack of explainability poses a challenge to their widespread adoption and use in practical applications. This work aims to design a deep learning framework for accurate and explainable prediction of covid-19 fake news. First, we choose BiLSTM as the base model and improve the classification performance of the BiLSTM model by incorporating BERT-based distillation. Then, a post-hoc interpretation method SHAP is used to explain the classification results of the model to improve the transparency of the model and increase people's confidence in the practical application. Finally, utilizing visual interpretation methods, such as significance plots, to analyze specific sample classification results for gaining insights into the key terms that influence the model’s decisions. Ablation experiments demonstrated the reliability of the explainable method.

Cite This Paper

Xiuping Men, Vladimir Y. Mariano, "Explainable Fake News Detection Based on BERT and SHAP Applied to COVID-19", International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science(IJMECS), Vol.16, No.1, pp. 11-22, 2024. DOI:10.5815/ijmecs.2024.01.02


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