Abstract: Out of distribution (OoD) generalization has received considerable interest in recent years. In this work, we identify a particular failure mode of OoD generalization for discriminative classifiers that is based on test data (from a new domain) lying in the nullspace of features learnt from source data. We demonstrate the existence of this failure mode across multiple networks trained across RotatedMNIST, PACS, TerraIncognita, DomainNet and ImageNet-R datasets. We then study different choices for characterizing the feature space and show that projecting intermediate representations onto the span of directions that obtain maximum training accuracy provides consistent improvements in OoD performance. Finally, we show that such nullspace behavior also provides an insight into neural networks trained on poisoned data. We hope our work galvanizes interest in the relationship between the nullspace occupancy failure mode and generalization.
Anonymous Url: I certify that there is no URL (e.g., github page) that could be used to find authors’ identity.
No Acknowledgement Section: I certify that there is no acknowledgement section in this submission for double blind review.
Code Of Ethics: I acknowledge that I and all co-authors of this work have read and commit to adhering to the ICLR Code of Ethics
Submission Guidelines: Yes
Please Choose The Closest Area That Your Submission Falls Into: Deep Learning and representational learning