Invariant Information Bottleneck for Domain Generalization

Bo Li, Yifei Shen, Yezhen Wang, Wenzhen Zhu, Colorado Reed, Dongsheng Li, Kurt Keutzer, Han Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Invariant risk minimization (IRM) has recently emerged as a promising alternative for domain generalization. Nevertheless, the loss function is difficult to optimize for nonlinear classifiers and the original optimization objective could fail when pseudo-invariant features and geometric skews exist. Inspired by IRM, in this paper we propose a novel formulation for domain generalization, dubbed invariant information bottleneck (IIB). IIB aims at minimizing invariant risks for nonlinear classifiers and simultaneously mitigating the impact of pseudo-invariant features and geometric skews. Specifically, we first present a novel formulation for invariant causal prediction via mutual information. Then we adopt the variational formulation of the mutual information to develop a tractable loss function for nonlinear classifiers. To overcome the failure modes of IRM, we propose to minimize the mutual information between the inputs and the corresponding representations. IIB significantly outperforms IRM on synthetic datasets, where the pseudo-invariant features and geometric skews occur, showing the effectiveness of proposed formulation in overcoming failure modes of IRM. Furthermore, experiments on DomainBed show that IIB outperforms 13 baselines by 0.9% on average across 7 real datasets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAAAI-22 Technical Tracks 7
PublisherAssociation for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)1577358767, 9781577358763
StatePublished - Jun 30 2022
Event36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Feb 22 2022Mar 1 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2022


Conference36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2022
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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