Collier, Mark, Mustafa, Basil, Kokiopoulou, Efi, Berent, Jesse

Modelling uncertainty arising from input-dependent label noise is an increasingly important problem. A state-of-the-art approach for classification [Kendall and Gal, 2017] places a normal distribution over the softmax logits, where the mean and variance of this distribution are learned functions of the inputs. This approach achieves impressive empirical performance but lacks theoretical justification. We show that this model is a special case of a well known and theoretically understood model studied in econometrics. Under this view the softmax over the logit distribution is a smooth approximation to an argmax, where the approximation is exact in the zero temperature limit. We further illustrate that the softmax temperature controls a bias-variance trade-off and the optimal point on this trade-off is not always found at 1.0. By tuning the softmax temperature, we achieve improved performance on well known image classification benchmarks with controlled label noise. For image segmentation, where input-dependent label noise naturally arises, we show that tuning the temperature increases the mean IoU on the PASCAL VOC and Cityscapes datasets by more than 1% over the state-of-the-art model and a strong baseline that does not model this noise source.

There are two major types of uncertainty one can model. Aleatoric uncertainty captures noise inherent in the observations. On the other hand, epistemic uncertainty accounts for uncertainty in the model - uncertainty which can be explained away given enough data. Traditionally it has been difficult to model epistemic uncertainty in computer vision, but with new Bayesian deep learning tools this is now possible. We study the benefits of modeling epistemic vs. aleatoric uncertainty in Bayesian deep learning models for vision tasks. For this we present a Bayesian deep learning framework combining input-dependent aleatoric uncertainty together with epistemic uncertainty. We study models under the framework with per-pixel semantic segmentation and depth regression tasks. Further, our explicit uncertainty formulation leads to new loss functions for these tasks, which can be interpreted as learned attenuation. This makes the loss more robust to noisy data, also giving new state-of-the-art results on segmentation and depth regression benchmarks.

We first consider the sources of uncertainty in NNs, and briefly review Bayesian Neural Networks (BNN), the group of Bayesian approaches to tackle uncertainties in NNs. After presenting mathematical formulation of MC dropout, we proceed to suggesting potential benefits and associated costs for using MC dropout in typical NN models, with the results from our experiments.

Griffiths, Ryan-Rhys, Garcia-Ortegon, Miguel, Aldrick, Alexander A., Lee, Alpha A.

Bayesian optimisation is an important decision-making tool for high-stakes applications in drug discovery and materials design. An oft-overlooked modelling consideration however is the representation of input-dependent or heteroscedastic aleatoric uncertainty. The cost of misrepresenting this uncertainty as being homoscedastic could be high in drug discovery applications where neglecting heteroscedasticity in high throughput virtual screening could lead to a failed drug discovery program. In this paper, we propose a heteroscedastic Bayesian optimisation scheme which both represents and penalises aleatoric noise in the suggestions.Our scheme features a heteroscedastic Gaussian Process (GP) as the surrogate model in conjunction with two acquisition heuristics. First, we extend the augmented expected improvement (AEI) heuristic to the heteroscedastic setting and second, we introduce a new acquisition function, aleatoric-penalised expected improvement (ANPEI) based on a simple scalarisation of the performance and noise objective. Both methods penalise aleatoric noise in the suggestions and yield improved performance relative to a naive implementation of homoscedastic Bayesian optimisation on toy problems as well as a real-world optimisation problem.

These results show that when we train on less data, or test on data which is significantly different from the training set, then our epistemic uncertainty increases drastically. However, our aleatoric uncertainty remains relatively constant, which it should because it is tested on the same problem with the same sensor. Next I'm going to discuss an interesting application of these ideas for multi-task learning. Multi-task learning aims to improve learning efficiency and prediction accuracy by learning multiple objectives from a shared representation. It is prevalent in many areas of machine learning, from NLP to speech recognition to computer vision.