Fishr: Invariant Gradient Variances for Out-of-distribution Generalization Download PDF


Sep 29, 2021 (edited Oct 05, 2021)ICLR 2022 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Domain Generalization
  • Abstract: Learning robust models that generalize well under changes in the data distribution is critical for real-world applications. To this end, there has been a growing surge of interest to learn simultaneously from multiple training domains - while enforcing different types of invariance across those domains. Yet, all existing approaches fail to show systematic benefits under controlled evaluation protocols. In this paper, we introduce a new regularization - named Fishr - that enforces domain invariance in the space of the gradients of the loss: specifically, the domain-level variances of gradients are matched across training domains. Our approach is based on the close relations between the gradient covariance, the Fisher Information and the Hessian of the loss: in particular, we show that Fishr eventually aligns the domain-level loss landscapes locally around the final weights. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of Fishr for out-of-distribution generalization. Notably, Fishr improves the state of the art on the DomainBed benchmark and performs consistently better than Empirical Risk Minimization. Our code is available anonymously at
  • One-sentence Summary: To improve the generalization properties of deep networks when data comes from multiple domains, we introduce a new invariance criterion that matches the domain-level variances of gradients.
  • Supplementary Material: zip
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