Domain generalization aims to learn a model with good generalization ability, that is, the learned model should not only perform well on several seen domains but also on unseen domains with different data distributions. State-of-the-art domain generalization methods typically train a representation function followed by a classifier jointly to minimize both the classification risk and the domain discrepancy. However, when it comes to model selection, most of these methods rely on traditional validation routines that select models solely based on the lowest classification risk on the validation set. In this paper, we theoretically demonstrate a trade-off between minimizing classification risk and mitigating domain discrepancy, i.e., it is impossible to achieve the minimum of these two objectives simultaneously. Motivated by this theoretical result, we propose a novel model selection method suggesting that the validation process should account for both the classification risk and the domain discrepancy. We validate the effectiveness of the proposed method by numerical results on several domain generalization datasets.
Learning to detect, characterize and accommodate novelties is a challenge that agents operating in open-world domains need to address to be able to guarantee satisfactory task performance. Certain novelties (e.g., changes in environment dynamics) can interfere with the performance or prevent agents from accomplishing task goals altogether. In this paper, we introduce general methods and architectural mechanisms for detecting and characterizing different types of novelties, and for building an appropriate adaptive model to accommodate them utilizing logical representations and reasoning methods. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods in evaluations performed by a third party in the adversarial multi-agent board game Monopoly. The results show high novelty detection and accommodation rates across a variety of novelty types, including changes to the rules of the game, as well as changes to the agent's action capabilities.
Domain generalization (DG) is a branch of transfer learning that aims to train the learning models on several seen domains and subsequently apply these pre-trained models to other unseen (unknown but related) domains. To deal with challenging settings in DG where both data and label of the unseen domain are not available at training time, the most common approach is to design the classifiers based on the domain-invariant representation features, i.e., the latent representations that are unchanged and transferable between domains. Contrary to popular belief, we show that designing classifiers based on invariant representation features alone is necessary but insufficient in DG. Our analysis indicates the necessity of imposing a constraint on the reconstruction loss induced by representation functions to preserve most of the relevant information about the label in the latent space. More importantly, we point out the trade-off between minimizing the reconstruction loss and achieving domain alignment in DG. Our theoretical results motivate a new DG framework that jointly optimizes the reconstruction loss and the domain discrepancy. Both theoretical and numerical results are provided to justify our approach.
In this paper, we propose a novel domain generalization (DG) framework based on a new upper bound to the risk on the unseen domain. Particularly, our framework proposes to jointly minimize both the covariate-shift as well as the concept-shift between the seen domains for a better performance on the unseen domain. While the proposed approach can be implemented via an arbitrary combination of covariate-alignment and concept-alignment modules, in this work we use well-established approaches for distributional alignment namely, Maximum Mean Discrepancy (MMD) and covariance Alignment (CORAL), and use an Invariant Risk Minimization (IRM)-based approach for concept alignment. Our numerical results show that the proposed methods perform as well as or better than the state-of-the-art for domain generalization on several data sets.
We propose RAPid-Learn: Learning to Recover and Plan Again, a hybrid planning and learning method, to tackle the problem of adapting to sudden and unexpected changes in an agent's environment (i.e., novelties). RAPid-Learn is designed to formulate and solve modifications to a task's Markov Decision Process (MDPs) on-the-fly and is capable of exploiting domain knowledge to learn any new dynamics caused by the environmental changes. It is capable of exploiting the domain knowledge to learn action executors which can be further used to resolve execution impasses, leading to a successful plan execution. This novelty information is reflected in its updated domain model. We demonstrate its efficacy by introducing a wide variety of novelties in a gridworld environment inspired by Minecraft, and compare our algorithm with transfer learning baselines from the literature. Our method is (1) effective even in the presence of multiple novelties, (2) more sample efficient than transfer learning RL baselines, and (3) robust to incomplete model information, as opposed to pure symbolic planning approaches.
In order for artificial agents to perform useful tasks in changing environments, they must be able to both detect and adapt to novelty. However, visual novelty detection research often only evaluates on repurposed datasets such as CIFAR-10 originally intended for object classification. This practice restricts novelties to well-framed images of distinct object types. We suggest that new benchmarks are needed to represent the challenges of navigating an open world. Our new NovelCraft dataset contains multi-modal episodic data of the images and symbolic world-states seen by an agent completing a pogo-stick assembly task within a video game world. In some episodes, we insert novel objects that can impact gameplay. Novelty can vary in size, position, and occlusion within complex scenes. We benchmark state-of-the-art novelty detection and generalized category discovery models with a focus on comprehensive evaluation. Results suggest an opportunity for future research: models aware of task-specific costs of different types of mistakes could more effectively detect and adapt to novelty in open worlds.
As AI-enabled robots enter the realm of healthcare and caregiving, it is important to consider how they will address the dimensions of care and how they will interact not just with the direct receivers of assistance, but also with those who provide it (e.g., caregivers, healthcare providers etc.). Caregiving in its best form addresses challenges in a multitude of dimensions of a person's life: from physical, to social-emotional and sometimes even existential dimensions (such as issues surrounding life and death). In this study we use semi-structured qualitative interviews administered to healthcare professions with multidisciplinary backgrounds (physicians, public health professionals, social workers, and chaplains) to understand their expectations regarding the possible roles robots may play in the healthcare ecosystem in the future. We found that participants drew inspiration in their mental models of robots from both works of science fiction but also from existing commercial robots. Participants envisioned roles for robots in the full spectrum of care, from physical to social-emotional and even existential-spiritual dimensions, but also pointed out numerous limitations that robots have in being able to provide comprehensive humanistic care. While no dimension of care was deemed as exclusively the realm of humans, participants stressed the importance of caregiving humans as the primary providers of comprehensive care, with robots assisting with more narrowly focused tasks. Throughout the paper we point out the encouraging confluence of ideas between the expectations of healthcare providers and research trends in the human-robot interaction (HRI) literature.
Invariance principle-based methods, for example, Invariant Risk Minimization (IRM), have recently emerged as promising approaches for Domain Generalization (DG). Despite the promising theory, invariance principle-based approaches fail in common classification tasks due to the mixture of the true invariant features and the spurious invariant features. In this paper, we propose a framework based on the conditional entropy minimization principle to filter out the spurious invariant features leading to a new algorithm with a better generalization capability. We theoretically prove that under some particular assumptions, the representation function can precisely recover the true invariant features. In addition, we also show that the proposed approach is closely related to the well-known Information Bottleneck framework. Both the theoretical and numerical results are provided to justify our approach.
Dialogue agents that interact with humans in situated environments need to manage referential ambiguity across multiple modalities and ask for help as needed. However, it is not clear what kinds of questions such agents should ask nor how the answers to such questions can be used to resolve ambiguity. To address this, we analyzed dialogue data from an interactive study in which participants controlled a virtual robot tasked with organizing a set of tools while engaging in dialogue with a live, remote experimenter. We discovered a number of novel results, including the distribution of question types used to resolve ambiguity and the influence of dialogue-level factors on the reference resolution process. Based on these empirical findings we: (1) developed a computational model for clarification requests using a decision network with an entropy-based utility assignment method that operates across modalities, (2) evaluated the model, showing that it outperforms a slot-filling baseline in environments of varying ambiguity, and (3) interpreted the results to offer insight into the ways that agents can ask questions to facilitate situated reference resolution.