Domain Generalisation via Risk Distribution Matching

Toan Nguyen, Kien Do, Bao Duong, Thin Nguyen; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2024, pp. 2790-2799


We propose a novel approach for domain generalisation (DG) leveraging risk distributions to characterise domains, thereby achieving domain invariance. In our findings, risk distributions effectively highlight differences between training domains and reveal their inherent complexities. In testing, we may observe similar, or potentially intensifying in magnitude, divergences between risk distributions. Hence, we propose a compelling proposition: Minimising the divergences between risk distributions across training domains leads to robust invariance for DG. The key rationale behind this concept is that a model, trained on domain-invariant or stable features, may consistently produce similar risk distributions across various domains. Building upon this idea, we propose Risk Distribution Matching (RDM). Using the maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) distance, RDM aims to minimise the variance of risk distributions across training domains. However, when the number of domains increases, the direct optimisation of variance leads to linear growth in MMD computations, resulting in inefficiency. Instead, we propose an approximation that requires only one MMD computation, by aligning just two distributions: that of the worst-case domain and the aggregated distribution from all domains. Notably, this method empirically outperforms optimising distributional variance while being computationally more efficient. Unlike conventional DG matching algorithms, RDM stands out for its enhanced efficacy by concentrating on scalar risk distributions, sidestepping the pitfalls of high-dimensional challenges seen in feature or gradient matching. Our extensive experiments on standard benchmark datasets demonstrate that RDM shows superior generalisation capability over state-of-the-art DG methods.

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@InProceedings{Nguyen_2024_WACV, author = {Nguyen, Toan and Do, Kien and Duong, Bao and Nguyen, Thin}, title = {Domain Generalisation via Risk Distribution Matching}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2024}, pages = {2790-2799} }