Learning De-biased Representations with Biased Representations

Jul 12, 2020

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Many machine learning algorithms are trained and evaluated by splitting data from a single source into training and test sets. While such focus on in-distribution learning scenarios has led interesting advances, it has not been able to tell if models are relying on dataset biases as shortcuts for successful prediction (e.g., using snow cues for recognising snowmobiles). Such biased models fail to generalise when the bias shifts to a different class. The cross-bias generalisation problem has been addressed by de-biasing training data through augmentation or re-sampling, which are often prohibitive due to the data collection cost (e.g., collecting images of a snowmobile on a desert) and the difficulty of quantifying or expressing biases in the first place. In this work, we propose a novel framework to train a de-biased representation by encouraging it to be different from a set of representations that are biased by design. This tactic is feasible in many scenarios where it is much easier to define a set of biased representations than to define and quantify bias. Our experiments and analyses show that our method discourages models from taking bias shortcuts, resulting in improved generalisation.

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About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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