A Holistic Assessment of the Reliability of Machine Learning Systems

20 Jul 2023  ·  Anthony Corso, David Karamadian, Romeo Valentin, Mary Cooper, Mykel J. Kochenderfer ·

As machine learning (ML) systems increasingly permeate high-stakes settings such as healthcare, transportation, military, and national security, concerns regarding their reliability have emerged. Despite notable progress, the performance of these systems can significantly diminish due to adversarial attacks or environmental changes, leading to overconfident predictions, failures to detect input faults, and an inability to generalize in unexpected scenarios. This paper proposes a holistic assessment methodology for the reliability of ML systems. Our framework evaluates five key properties: in-distribution accuracy, distribution-shift robustness, adversarial robustness, calibration, and out-of-distribution detection. A reliability score is also introduced and used to assess the overall system reliability. To provide insights into the performance of different algorithmic approaches, we identify and categorize state-of-the-art techniques, then evaluate a selection on real-world tasks using our proposed reliability metrics and reliability score. Our analysis of over 500 models reveals that designing for one metric does not necessarily constrain others but certain algorithmic techniques can improve reliability across multiple metrics simultaneously. This study contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of ML reliability and provides a roadmap for future research and development.

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