Being Bayesian, Even Just a Bit, Fixes Overconfidence in ReLU Networks

Jul 12, 2020

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The point estimates of ReLU classification networks—arguably the most widely used neural network architecture—have been shown to yield arbitrarily high confidence far away from the training data. This architecture, in conjunction with a maximum a posteriori estimation scheme, is thus not calibrated nor robust. Approximate Bayesian inference has been empirically demonstrated to improve predictive uncertainty in neural networks, although the theoretical analysis of such Bayesian approximations is limited. We theoretically analyze approximate Gaussian posterior distributions on the weights of ReLU networks and show that they fix the overconfidence problem. Furthermore, we show that even a simplistic, thus cheap, Bayesian approximation, also fixes these issues. This indicates that a sufficient condition for a calibrated uncertainty on a ReLU network is “to be a bit Bayesian”. These theoretical results validate the usage of last-layer Bayesian approximation and motivate a range of a fidelity-cost trade-off. We further validate these findings empirically via various standard experiments using common deep ReLU networks and Laplace approximations.

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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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