NeurIPS 2022
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Workshop on Distribution Shifts: Connecting Methods and Applications

Chelsea Finn · Fanny Yang · Hongseok Namkoong · Masashi Sugiyama · Jacob Eisenstein · Jonas Peters · Rebecca Roelofs · Shiori Sagawa · Pang Wei Koh · Yoonho Lee

Room 388 - 390

This workshop brings together domain experts and ML researchers working on mitigating distribution shifts in real-world applications.

Distribution shifts—where a model is deployed on a data distribution different from what it was trained on—pose significant robustness challenges in real-world ML applications. Such shifts are often unavoidable in the wild and have been shown to substantially degrade model performance in applications such as biomedicine, wildlife conservation, sustainable development, robotics, education, and criminal justice. For example, models can systematically fail when tested on patients from different hospitals or people from different demographics.

This workshop aims to convene a diverse set of domain experts and methods-oriented researchers working on distribution shifts. We are broadly interested in methods, evaluations and benchmarks, and theory for distribution shifts, and we are especially interested in work on distribution shifts that arise naturally in real-world application contexts. Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to:
- Examples of real-world distribution shifts in various application areas. We especially welcome applications that are not widely discussed in the ML research community, e.g., education, sustainable development, and conservation. We encourage submissions that characterize distribution shifts and their effects in real-world applications; it is not at all necessary to propose a solution that is algorithmically novel.
- Methods for improving robustness to distribution shifts. Relevant settings include domain generalization, domain adaptation, and subpopulation shifts, and we are interested in a wide range of approaches, from uncertainty estimation to causal inference to active data collection. We welcome methods that can work across a variety of shifts, as well as more domain-specific methods that incorporate prior knowledge on the types of shifts we wish to be robust on. We encourage evaluating these methods on real-world distribution shifts.
- Empirical and theoretical characterization of distribution shifts. Distribution shifts can vary widely in the way in which the data distribution changes, as well as the empirical trends they exhibit. What empirical trends do we observe? What empirical or theoretical frameworks can we use to characterize these different types of shifts and their effects? What kinds of theoretical settings capture useful components of real-world distribution shifts?
- Benchmarks and evaluations. We especially welcome contributions for subpopulation shifts, as they are underrepresented in current ML benchmarks. We are also interested in evaluation protocols that move beyond the standard assumption of fixed training and test splits -- for which applications would we need to consider other forms of shifts, such as streams of continually-changing data or feedback loops between models and data?

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Timezone: America/Los_Angeles