Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)
Harikrishna Narasimhan, Aditya K. Menon
Many modern machine learning applications come with complex and nuanced design goals such as minimizing the worst-case error, satisfying a given precision or recall target, or enforcing group-fairness constraints. Popular techniques for optimizing such non-decomposable objectives reduce the problem into a sequence of cost-sensitive learning tasks, each of which is then solved by re-weighting the training loss with example-specific costs. We point out that the standard approach of re-weighting the loss to incorporate label costs can produce unsatisfactory results when used to train over-parameterized models. As a remedy, we propose new cost- sensitive losses that extend the classical idea of logit adjustment to handle more general cost matrices. Our losses are calibrated, and can be further improved with distilled labels from a teacher model. Through experiments on benchmark image datasets, we showcase the effectiveness of our approach in training ResNet models with common robust and constrained optimization objectives.