Input-gradient space particle inference for neural network ensembles

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 05 Mar 2024ICLR 2024 spotlightEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
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Keywords: deep ensembles, diversity, input gradient, robustness, covariate shift, particle variational inference
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TL;DR: We learn an ensemble of neural networks that is diverse with respect to their input gradients.
Abstract: Deep Ensembles (DEs) demonstrate improved accuracy, calibration and robustness to perturbations over single neural networks partly due to their functional diversity. Particle-based variational inference (ParVI) methods enhance diversity by formalizing a repulsion term based on a network similarity kernel. However, weight-space repulsion is inefficient due to over-parameterization, while direct function-space repulsion has been found to produce little improvement over DEs. To sidestep these difficulties, we propose First-order Repulsive Deep Ensemble (FoRDE), an ensemble learning method based on ParVI, which performs repulsion in the space of first-order input gradients. As input gradients uniquely characterize a function up to translation and are much smaller in dimension than the weights, this method guarantees that ensemble members are functionally different. Intuitively, diversifying the input gradients encourages each network to learn different features, which is expected to improve the robustness of an ensemble. Experiments on image classification datasets and transfer learning tasks show that FoRDE significantly outperforms the gold-standard DEs and other ensemble methods in accuracy and calibration under covariate shift due to input perturbations.
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Primary Area: probabilistic methods (Bayesian methods, variational inference, sampling, UQ, etc.)
Submission Number: 2353