Evaluating Aleatoric Uncertainty via Conditional Generative Models

9 Jun 2022  ·  Ziyi Huang, Henry Lam, Haofeng Zhang ·

Aleatoric uncertainty quantification seeks for distributional knowledge of random responses, which is important for reliability analysis and robustness improvement in machine learning applications. Previous research on aleatoric uncertainty estimation mainly targets closed-formed conditional densities or variances, which requires strong restrictions on the data distribution or dimensionality. To overcome these restrictions, we study conditional generative models for aleatoric uncertainty estimation. We introduce two metrics to measure the discrepancy between two conditional distributions that suit these models. Both metrics can be easily and unbiasedly computed via Monte Carlo simulation of the conditional generative models, thus facilitating their evaluation and training. We demonstrate numerically how our metrics provide correct measurements of conditional distributional discrepancies and can be used to train conditional models competitive against existing benchmarks.

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