Energy-Based Open-World Uncertainty Modeling for Confidence Calibration

Yezhen Wang, Bo Li, Tong Che, Kaiyang Zhou, Ziwei Liu, Dongsheng Li; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2021, pp. 9302-9311


Confidence calibration is of great importance to ensure the reliability of decisions made by machine learning systems. However, discriminative classifiers based on deep neural networks are often criticized for producing overconfident predictions that fail to reflect the true correctness likelihood of classification accuracy. We argue that such an inability to model uncertainty is mainly caused by the closed-world nature in softmax: a model trained by the cross-entropy loss will be forced to classify the input into one of K pre-defined categories with high probability. To address this problem, we for the first time propose a novel K+1-way softmax formulation, which incorporates the modeling of open-world uncertainty as to the extra dimension. To unify the learning of the original K-way classification task and the extra dimension that models uncertainty, we (1)propose a novel energy-based objective function, and moreover, (2) theoretically prove that optimizing such an objective essentially forces the extra dimension to capture the marginal data distribution. Extensive experiments show that our approach, Energy-based Open-World Softmax (EOW-Softmax), is superior to existing state-of-the-art methods in improving confidence calibration.

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[pdf] [arXiv]
@InProceedings{Wang_2021_ICCV, author = {Wang, Yezhen and Li, Bo and Che, Tong and Zhou, Kaiyang and Liu, Ziwei and Li, Dongsheng}, title = {Energy-Based Open-World Uncertainty Modeling for Confidence Calibration}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)}, month = {October}, year = {2021}, pages = {9302-9311} }