Toward Understanding Generative Data Augmentation

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: generative data augmentation, algorithmic stability, non-i.i.d. learning
TL;DR: Towards understanding modern generative data augmentation techniques.
Abstract: Generative data augmentation, which scales datasets by obtaining fake labeled examples from a trained conditional generative model, boosts classification performance in various learning tasks including (semi-)supervised learning, few-shot learning, and adversarially robust learning. However, little work has theoretically investigated the effect of generative data augmentation. To fill this gap, we establish a general stability bound in this not independently and identically distributed (non-i.i.d.) setting, where the learned distribution is dependent on the original train set and generally not the same as the true distribution. Our theoretical result includes the divergence between the learned distribution and the true distribution. It shows that generative data augmentation can enjoy a faster learning rate when the order of divergence term is $o(\max\left( \log(m)\beta_m, 1 / \sqrt{m})\right)$, where $m$ is the train set size and $\beta_m$ is the corresponding stability constant. We further specify the learning setup to the Gaussian mixture model and generative adversarial nets. We prove that in both cases, though generative data augmentation does not enjoy a faster learning rate, it can improve the learning guarantees at a constant level when the train set is small, which is significant when the awful overfitting occurs. Simulation results on the Gaussian mixture model and empirical results on generative adversarial nets support our theoretical conclusions.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Submission Number: 11926