Keywords: Long-tailed classification, Bayesian Decision Theory
TL;DR: We develop a unified framework from Bayesian Decision Theory to address the problem of long-tailed classification.
Abstract: Long-tailed classification poses a challenge due to its heavy imbalance in class probabilities and tail-sensitivity risks with asymmetric misprediction costs. Recent attempts have used re-balancing loss and ensemble methods, but they are largely heuristic and depend heavily on empirical results, lacking theoretical explanation. Furthermore, existing methods overlook the decision loss, which characterizes different costs associated with tailed classes. This paper presents a general and principled framework from a Bayesian-decision-theory perspective, which unifies existing techniques including re-balancing and ensemble methods, and provides theoretical justifications for their effectiveness. From this perspective, we derive a novel objective based on the integrated risk and a Bayesian deep-ensemble approach to improve the accuracy of all classes, especially the ``tail". Besides, our framework allows for task-adaptive decision loss which provides provably optimal decisions in varying task scenarios, along with the capability to quantify uncertainty. Finally, We conduct comprehensive experiments, including standard classification, tail-sensitive classification with a new False Head Rate metric, calibration, and ablation studies. Our framework significantly improves the current SOTA even on large-scale real-world datasets like ImageNet.