Logit-Based Ensemble Distribution Distillation for Robust Autoregressive Sequence Uncertainties

Published: 20 Jun 2023, Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023AABI 2023 - Fast TrackEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: uncertainty, autoregressive, ensemble distribution distillation, logit space, laplace distribution
TL;DR: Logit-based ensemble distribution distillation using a laplace distribution shows strong performance for uncertainty estimation on large-scale autoregressive sequence modelling tasks.
Abstract: Efficiently and reliably estimating uncertainty is an important objective in deep learning. It is especially pertinent to autoregressive sequence tasks, where training and inference costs are typically very high. However, existing research has predominantly focused on tasks with static data such as image classification. In this work, we investigate Ensemble Distribution Distillation (EDD) applied to large-scale natural language sequence-to-sequence data. EDD aims to compress the superior uncertainty performance of an expensive (teacher) ensemble into a cheaper (student) single model. Importantly, the ability to separate knowledge (epistemic) and data (aleatoric) uncertainty is retained. Existing probability-space approaches to EDD, however, are difficult to scale to large vocabularies. We show, for modern transformer architectures on large-scale translation tasks, that modelling the ensemble logits, instead of softmax probabilities, leads to significantly better students. Moreover, the students surprisingly even outperform Deep Ensembles by up to ∼10% AUROC on out-of-distribution detection, whilst matching them at in-distribution translation.
Publication Venue: UAI 2023
Submission Number: 6