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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 4, 2024
  2. The generalization ability of machine learning models degrades significantly when the test distribution shifts away from the training distribution. We investigate the problem of training models that are robust to shifts caused by changes in the distribution of class-priors or group-priors. The presence of skewed training priors can often lead to the models overfitting to spurious features. Unlike existing methods, which optimize for either the worst or the average performance over classes or groups, our work is motivated by the need for finer control over the robustness properties of the model. We present an extremely lightweight post-hoc approach that performs scaling adjustments to predictions from a pre-trained model, with the goal of minimizing a distributionally robust loss around a chosen target distribution. These adjustments are computed by solving a constrained optimization problem on a validation set and applied to the model during test time. Our constrained optimization objective is inspired from a natural notion of robustness to controlled distribution shifts. Our method comes with provable guarantees and empirically makes a strong case for distributional robust post-hoc classifiers. An empirical implementation is available at 
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  3. In this paper, we introduce DuelGAN, a generative adversarial network (GAN) solution to improve the stability of the generated samples and to mitigate mode collapse. Built upon the Vanilla GAN’s two-player game between the discriminator D1 and the generator G, we introduce a peer discriminator D2 to the min-max game. Similar to previous work using two discriminators, the first role of both D1, D2 is to distinguish between generated samples and real ones, while the generator tries to generate high-quality samples which are able to fool both discriminators. Different from existing methods, we introduce a duel between D1 and D2 to discourage their agreement and therefore increase the level of diversity of the generated samples. This property alleviates the issue of early mode collapse by preventing D1 and D2 from converging too fast. We provide theoretical analysis for the equilibrium of the min-max game formed among G,D1,D2. We offer convergence behavior of DuelGAN as well as stability of the min-max game. It’s worth mentioning that DuelGAN operates in the unsupervised setting, and the duel between D1 and D2 does not need any label supervision. Experiments results on a synthetic dataset and on real-world image datasets (MNIST, Fashion MNIST, CIFAR-10, STL-10, CelebA, VGG) demonstrate that DuelGAN outperforms competitive baseline work in generating diverse and high-quality samples, while only introduces negligible computation cost. Our code is publicly available at 
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  4. Existing research on learning with noisy labels mainly focuses on synthetic label noise. Synthetic label noise, though has clean structures which greatly enable statistical analyses, often fails to model the real-world noise patterns. The recent literature has observed several efforts to offer real-world noisy datasets, e.g., Food-101N, WebVision, and Clothing1M. Yet the existing efforts suffer from two caveats: firstly, the lack of ground-truth verification makes it hard to theoretically study the property and treatment of real-world label noise. Secondly, these efforts are often of large scales, which may result in unfair comparisons of robust methods within reasonable and accessible computation power. To better understand real-world label noise, it is important to establish controllable and moderate-sized real-world noisy datasets with both ground-truth and noisy labels. This work presents two new benchmark datasets, which we name as CIFAR-10N, CIFAR-100N, equipping the training datasets of CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100 with human-annotated real-world noisy labels that we collect from Amazon Mechanical Turk. We quantitatively and qualitatively show that real-world noisy labels follow an instance-dependent pattern rather than the classically assumed and adopted ones (e.g., class-dependent label noise). We then initiate an effort to benchmark a subset of the existing solutions using CIFAR-10N and CIFAR-100N. We further proceed to study the memorization of correct and wrong predictions, which further illustrates the difference between human noise and class-dependent synthetic noise. We show indeed the real-world noise patterns impose new and outstanding challenges as compared to synthetic label noise. These observations require us to rethink the treatment of noisy labels, and we hope the availability of these two datasets would facilitate the development and evaluation of future learning with noisy label solutions. The corresponding datasets and the leaderboard are publicly available at 
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  5. Label smoothing (LS) is an arising learning paradigm that uses the positively weighted average of both the hard training labels and uniformly distributed soft labels. It was shown that LS serves as a regularizer for training data with hard labels and therefore improves the generalization of the model. Later it was reported LS even helps with improving robustness when learning with noisy labels. However, we observed that the advantage of LS vanishes when we operate in a high label noise regime. Intuitively speaking, this is due to the increased entropy of ℙ(noisy label|X) when the noise rate is high, in which case, further applying LS tends to "over-smooth" the estimated posterior. We proceeded to discover that several learning-with-noisy-labels solutions in the literature instead relate more closely to negative/not label smoothing (NLS), which acts counter to LS and defines as using a negative weight to combine the hard and soft labels! We provide understandings for the properties of LS and NLS when learning with noisy labels. Among other established properties, we theoretically show NLS is considered more beneficial when the label noise rates are high. We provide extensive experimental results on multiple benchmarks to support our findings too. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    We show when maximizing a properly defined -divergence measure with respect to a classifier's predictions and the supervised labels is robust with label noise. Leveraging its variational form, we derive a nice decoupling property for a family of -divergence measures when label noise presents, where the divergence is shown to be a linear combination of the variational difference defined on the clean distribution and a bias term introduced due to the noise. The above derivation helps us analyze the robustness of different -divergence functions. With established robustness, this family of -divergence functions arises as useful metrics for the problem of learning with noisy labels, which do not require the specification of the labels' noise rate. When they are possibly not robust, we propose fixes to make them so. In addition to the analytical results, we present thorough experimental evidence. Our code is available at 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    It is important to collect credible training samples $(x,y)$ for building data-intensive learning systems (e.g., a deep learning system). Asking people to report complex distribution $p(x)$, though theoretically viable, is challenging in practice. This is primarily due to the cognitive loads required for human agents to form the report of this highly complicated information. While classical elicitation mechanisms apply to eliciting a complex and generative (and continuous) distribution $p(x)$, we are interested in eliciting samples $x_i \sim p(x)$ from agents directly. We coin the above problem sample elicitation. This paper introduces a deep learning aided method to incentivize credible sample contributions from self-interested and rational agents. We show that with an accurate estimation of a certain $f$-divergence function we can achieve approximate incentive compatibility in eliciting truthful samples. We then present an efficient estimator with theoretical guarantees via studying the variational forms of the $f$-divergence function. We also show a connection between this sample elicitation problem and $f$-GAN, and how this connection can help reconstruct an estimator of the distribution based on collected samples. Experiments on synthetic data, MNIST, and CIFAR-10 datasets demonstrate that our mechanism elicits truthful samples. Our implementation is available at 
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