Fast Online Value-Maximizing Prediction Sets with Conformal Cost Control
Abstract: Many real-world multi-label prediction problems involve set-valued predictions that must satisfy specific requirements dictated by downstream usage. We focus on a typical scenario where such requirements, separately encoding *value* and *cost*, compete with each other. For instance, a hospital might expect a smart diagnosis system to capture as many severe, often co-morbid, diseases as possible (the value), while maintaining strict control over incorrect predictions (the cost). We present a general pipeline, dubbed as FavMac, to maximize the value while controlling the cost in such scenarios. FavMac can be combined with almost any multi-label classifier, affording distribution-free theoretical guarantees on cost control. Moreover, unlike prior works, FavMac can handle real-world large-scale applications via a carefully designed online update mechanism, which is of independent interest. Our methodological and theoretical contributions are supported by experiments on several healthcare tasks and synthetic datasets - FavMac furnishes higher value compared with several variants and baselines while maintaining strict cost control.
Submission Number: 2605