Soft Calibration Objectives for Neural NetworksDownload PDF

May 21, 2021 (edited Jan 13, 2022)NeurIPS 2021 PosterReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: calibration, uncertainty, reliable machine learning
  • TL;DR: We propose losses to improve calibration based on a soft version of the binning operation and show state-of-the-art single model calibration results.
  • Abstract: Optimal decision making requires that classifiers produce uncertainty estimates consistent with their empirical accuracy. However, deep neural networks are often under- or over-confident in their predictions. Consequently, methods have been developed to improve the calibration of their predictive uncertainty both during training and post-hoc. In this work, we propose differentiable losses to improve calibration based on a soft (continuous) version of the binning operation underlying popular calibration-error estimators. When incorporated into training, these soft calibration losses achieve state-of-the-art single-model ECE across multiple datasets with less than 1% decrease in accuracy. For instance, we observe an 82% reduction in ECE (70% relative to the post-hoc rescaled ECE) in exchange for a 0.7% relative decrease in accuracy relative to the cross entropy baseline on CIFAR-100. When incorporated post-training, the soft-binning-based calibration error objective improves upon temperature scaling, a popular recalibration method. Overall, experiments across losses and datasets demonstrate that using calibration-sensitive procedures yield better uncertainty estimates under dataset shift than the standard practice of using a cross entropy loss and post-hoc recalibration methods.
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