Risk Variance Penalization

13 Jun 2020  ·  Chuanlong Xie, Haotian Ye, Fei Chen, Yue Liu, Rui Sun, Zhenguo Li ·

The key of the out-of-distribution (OOD) generalization is to generalize invariance from training domains to target domains. The variance risk extrapolation (V-REx) is a practical OOD method, which depends on a domain-level regularization but lacks theoretical verifications about its motivation and utility. This article provides theoretical insights into V-REx by studying a variance-based regularizer. We propose Risk Variance Penalization (RVP), which slightly changes the regularization of V-REx but addresses the theory concerns about V-REx. We provide theoretical explanations and a theory-inspired tuning scheme for the regularization parameter of RVP. Our results point out that RVP discovers a robust predictor. Finally, we experimentally show that the proposed regularizer can find an invariant predictor under certain conditions.

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