Domain generalization (DG) is about learning models that generalize well to new domains that are related to, but different from, the training domain(s). It is a fundamental problem in machine learning and has attracted much attention in recent years. A large number of approaches have been proposed. Different approaches are motivated from different perspectives, making it difficult to gain an overall understanding of the area. In this paper, we propose a causal framework for domain generalization and present an understanding of common DG approaches in the framework. Our work sheds new lights on the following questions: (1) What are the key ideas behind each DG method? (2) Why is it expected to improve generalization to new domains theoretically? (3) How are different DG methods related to each other and what are relative advantages and limitations? By providing a unified perspective on DG, we hope to help researchers better understand the underlying principles and develop more effective approaches for this critical problem in machine learning.
Machine learning systems produce biased results towards certain demographic groups, known as the fairness problem. Recent approaches to tackle this problem learn a latent code (i.e., representation) through disentangled representation learning and then discard the latent code dimensions correlated with sensitive attributes (e.g., gender). Nevertheless, these approaches may suffer from incomplete disentanglement and overlook proxy attributes (proxies for sensitive attributes) when processing real-world data, especially for unstructured data, causing performance degradation in fairness and loss of useful information for downstream tasks. In this paper, we propose a novel fairness framework that performs debiasing with regard to both sensitive attributes and proxy attributes, which boosts the prediction performance of downstream task models without complete disentanglement. The main idea is to, first, leverage gradient-based explanation to find two model focuses, 1) one focus for predicting sensitive attributes and 2) the other focus for predicting downstream task labels, and second, use them to perturb the latent code that guides the training of downstream task models towards fairness and utility goals. We show empirically that our framework works with both disentangled and non-disentangled representation learning methods and achieves better fairness-accuracy trade-off on unstructured and structured datasets than previous state-of-the-art approaches.
Domain Generalization (DG) is an important open problem in machine learning. Deep models are susceptible to domain shifts of even minute degrees, which severely compromises their reliability in real applications. To alleviate the issue, most existing methods enforce various invariant constraints across multiple training domains. However,such an approach provides little performance guarantee for novel test domains in general. In this paper, we investigate a different approach named Contrastive Domain Generalization (CDG), which exploits semantic invariance exhibited by strongly contrastive data pairs in lieu of multiple domains. We present a causal DG theory that shows the potential capability of CDG; together with a regularization technique, Logit Attribution Matching (LAM), for realizing CDG. We empirically show that LAM outperforms state-of-the-art DG methods with only a small portion of paired data and that LAM helps models better focus on semantic features which are crucial to DG.
There is a rising need for computational models that can complementarily leverage data of different modalities while investigating associations between subjects for population-based disease analysis. Despite the success of convolutional neural networks in representation learning for imaging data, it is still a very challenging task. In this paper, we propose a generalizable framework that can automatically integrate imaging data with non-imaging data in populations for uncertainty-aware disease prediction. At its core is a learnable adaptive population graph with variational edges, which we mathematically prove that it is optimizable in conjunction with graph convolutional neural networks. To estimate the predictive uncertainty related to the graph topology, we propose the novel concept of Monte-Carlo edge dropout. Experimental results on four databases show that our method can consistently and significantly improve the diagnostic accuracy for Autism spectrum disorder, Alzheimer's disease, and ocular diseases, indicating its generalizability in leveraging multimodal data for computer-aided diagnosis.
Despite deep convolutional neural networks boost the performance of image classification and segmentation in digital pathology analysis, they are usually weak in interpretability for clinical applications or require heavy annotations to achieve object localization. To overcome this problem, we propose a weakly supervised learning-based approach that can effectively learn to localize the discriminative evidence for a diagnostic label from weakly labeled training data. Experimental results show that our proposed method can reliably pinpoint the location of cancerous evidence supporting the decision of interest, while still achieving a competitive performance on glimpse-level and slide-level histopathologic cancer detection tasks.
Histology imaging is an essential diagnosis method to finalize the grade and stage of cancer of different tissues, especially for breast cancer diagnosis. Specialists often disagree on the final diagnosis on biopsy tissue due to the complex morphological variety. Although convolutional neural networks (CNN) have advantages in extracting discriminative features in image classification, directly training a CNN on high resolution histology images is computationally infeasible currently. Besides, inconsistent discriminative features often distribute over the whole histology image, which incurs challenges in patch-based CNN classification method. In this paper, we propose a novel architecture for automatic classification of high resolution histology images. First, an adapted residual network is employed to explore hierarchical features without attenuation. Second, we develop a robust deep fusion network to utilize the spatial relationship between patches and learn to correct the prediction bias generated from inconsistent discriminative feature distribution. The proposed method is evaluated using 10-fold cross-validation on 400 high resolution breast histology images with balanced labels and reports 95% accuracy on 4-class classification and 98.5% accuracy, 99.6% AUC on 2-class classification (carcinoma and non-carcinoma), which substantially outperforms previous methods and close to pathologist performance.