REST: Enhancing Group Robustness in DNNs through Reweighted Sparse Training

The deep neural network (DNN) has been proven effective in various domains. However, they often struggle to perform well on certain minority groups during inference, despite showing strong performance on the majority of data groups. This is because over-parameterized models learned \textit{bias attributes} from a large number of \textit{bias-aligned} training samples. These bias attributes are strongly spuriously correlated with the target variable, causing the models to be biased towards spurious correlations (i.e., \textit{bias-conflicting}). To tackle this issue, we propose a novel \textbf{re}weighted \textbf{s}parse \textbf{t}raining framework, dubbed as \textit{\textbf{REST}}, which aims to enhance the performance of biased data while improving computation and memory efficiency. Our proposed REST framework has been experimentally validated on three datasets, demonstrating its effectiveness in exploring unbiased subnetworks. We found that REST reduces the reliance on spuriously correlated features, leading to better performance across a wider range of data groups with fewer training and inference resources. We highlight that the \textit{REST} framework represents a promising approach for improving the performance of DNNs on biased data, while simultaneously improving computation and memory efficiency. By reducing the reliance on spurious correlations, REST has the potential to enhance the robustness of DNNs and improve their generalization capabilities. Code is released at \url{}

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