Locally Valid and Discriminative Prediction Intervals for Deep Learning Models

Zhen Lin, Shubhendu Trivedi, Jimeng Sun

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


Crucial for building trust in deep learning models for critical real-world applications is efficient and theoretically sound uncertainty quantification, a task that continues to be challenging. Useful uncertainty information is expected to have two key properties: It should be valid (guaranteeing coverage) and discriminative (more uncertain when the expected risk is high). Moreover, when combined with deep learning (DL) methods, it should be scalable and affect the DL model performance minimally. Most existing Bayesian methods lack frequentist coverage guarantees and usually affect model performance. The few available frequentist methods are rarely discriminative and/or violate coverage guarantees due to unrealistic assumptions. Moreover, many methods are expensive or require substantial modifications to the base neural network. Building upon recent advances in conformal prediction [13, 33] and leveraging the classical idea of kernel regression, we propose Locally Valid and Discriminative prediction intervals (LVD), a simple, efficient and lightweight method to construct discriminative prediction intervals (PIs) for almost any DL model. With no assumptions on the data distribution, such PIs also offer finite-sample local coverage guarantees (contrasted to the simpler marginal coverage). We empirically verify, using diverse datasets, that besides being the only locally valid method for DL, LVD also exceeds or matches the performance (including coverage rate and prediction accuracy) of existing uncertainty quantification methods, while offering additional benefits in scalability and flexibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 - 35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021
EditorsMarc'Aurelio Ranzato, Alina Beygelzimer, Yann Dauphin, Percy S. Liang, Jenn Wortman Vaughan
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781713845393
StatePublished - 2021
Event35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 6 2021Dec 14 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Conference35th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2021
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


Dive into the research topics of 'Locally Valid and Discriminative Prediction Intervals for Deep Learning Models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this