Keywords: [ robustness ] [ efficient ensembles ] [ subnetwork ] [ Uncertainty ] [ feature-wise linear modulation ]
The ability to estimate epistemic uncertainty is often crucial when deploying machine learning in the real world, but modern methods often produce overconfident, uncalibrated uncertainty predictions. A common approach to quantify epistemic uncertainty, usable across a wide class of prediction models, is to train a model ensemble. In a naive implementation, the ensemble approach has high computational cost and high memory demand. This challenges in particular modern deep learning, where even a single deep network is already demanding in terms of compute and memory, and has given rise to a number of attempts to emulate the model ensemble without actually instantiating separate ensemble members. We introduce FiLM-Ensemble, a deep, implicit ensemble method based on the concept of Feature-wise Linear Modulation (FiLM). That technique was originally developed for multi-task learning, with the aim of decoupling different tasks. We show that the idea can be extended to uncertainty quantification: by modulating the network activations of a single deep network with FiLM, one obtains a model ensemble with high diversity, and consequently well-calibrated estimates of epistemic uncertainty, with low computational overhead in comparison. Empirically, FiLM-Ensemble outperforms other implicit ensemble methods, and it comes very close to the upper bound of an explicit ensemble of networks (sometimes even beating it), at a fraction of the memory cost.