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Gradient Distribution Alignment Certificates Better Adversarial Domain Adaptation
The latest heuristic for handling the domain shift in unsupervised domain adaptation tasks is to reduce the data distribution discrepancy using adversarial learning. Recent studies improve the conventional adversarial domain adaptation methods with discriminative information by integrating the classifier's outputs into distribution divergence measurement. However, they still suffer from the equilibrium problem of adversarial learning in which even if the discriminator is fully confused, sufficient similarity between two distributions cannot be guaranteed. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel approach named feature gradient distribution alignment (FGDA). We demonstrate the rationale of our method both theoretically and empirically. In particular, we show that the distribution discrepancy can be reduced by constraining feature gradients of two domains to have similar distributions. Meanwhile, our method enjoys a theoretical guarantee that a tighter error upper bound for target samples can be obtained than that of conventional adversarial domain adaptation methods. By integrating the proposed method with existing adversarial domain adaptation models, we achieve state-of-the-art performance on two real-world benchmark datasets.