SDE-Net: Equipping Deep Neural Networks with Uncertainty Estimates

Lingkai Kong, Jimeng Sun, Chao Zhang

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

Abstract

Uncertainty quantification is a fundamental yet unsolved problem for deep learning. The Bayesian framework provides a principled way of uncertainty estimation but is often not scalable to modern deep neural nets (DNNs) that have a large number of parameters. Non-Bayesian methods are simple to implement but often conflate different sources of uncertainties and require huge computing resources. We propose a new method for quantifying uncertainties of DNNs from a dynamical system perspective. The core of our method is to view DNN transformations as state evolution of a stochastic dynamical system and introduce a Brownian motion term for capturing epistemic uncertainty. Based on this perspective, we propose a neural stochastic differential equation model (SDE-Net) which consists of (1) a drift net that controls the system to fit the predictive function; and (2) a diffusion net that captures epistemic uncertainty. We theoretically analyze the existence and uniqueness of the solution to SDE-Net. Our experiments demonstrate that the SDE-Net model can outperform existing uncertainty estimation methods across a series of tasks where uncertainty plays a fundamental role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020
EditorsHal Daume, Aarti Singh
PublisherInternational Machine Learning Society (IMLS)
Pages5361-5371
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781713821120
StatePublished - 2020
Event37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 13 2020Jul 18 2020

Publication series

Name37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020
VolumePartF168147-7

Conference

Conference37th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period7/13/207/18/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

Cite this