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AI+Pizza June 2018

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Speaker 1: Andrey Manlinin

Title: Estimating Predictive Uncertainty in Deep Learning

Abstract: Estimating how uncertain an AI system is in its predictions is important to improve the safety of such systems. Uncertainty in predictive can result from uncertainty in model parameters, irreducible data uncertainty and uncertainty due to distributional mismatch between the test and training data distributions. Different actions might be taken depending on the source of the uncertainty so it is important to be able to distinguish between them. Recently, baseline tasks and metrics have been defined and several practical methods to estimate uncertainty developed. These methods, however, attempt to model uncertainty due to distributional mismatch either implicitly through model uncertainty or as data uncertainty. This work proposes a new framework for modeling predictive uncertainty called Prior Networks (PNs) which explicitly models distributional uncertainty. PNs do this by parameterizing a prior distribution over predictive distributions. This work focuses on uncertainty for classification and evaluates PNs on the tasks of identifying out-of-distribution (OOD) samples and detecting misclassification on the MNIST dataset, where they are found to outperform previous methods.

Speaker 2: Chris Cremer

Title:Inference Suboptimality in Variational Autoencoders

Abstract: Amortized inference allows latent-variable models trained via variational learning to scale to large datasets. The quality of approximate inference is determined by two factors: a) the capacity of the variational distribution to match the true posterior and b) the ability of the recognition network to produce good variational parameters for each datapoint. We examine approximate inference in variational autoencoders in terms of these factors. We find that divergence from the true posterior is often due to imperfect recognition networks, rather than the limited complexity of the approximating distribution. We show that this is due partly to the generator learning to accommodate the choice of approximation. Furthermore, we show that the parameters used to increase the expressiveness of the approximation play a role in generalizing inference rather than simply improving the complexity of the approximation.

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