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Class-Conditional Conformal Prediction with Many Classes

Tiffany Ding · Anastasios Angelopoulos · Stephen Bates · Michael Jordan · Ryan Tibshirani

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1623


Standard conformal prediction methods provide a marginal coverage guarantee,which means that for a random test point, the conformal prediction set contains the true label with a user-specified probability. In many classificationproblems, we would like to obtain a stronger guarantee--that for test pointsof a specific class, the prediction set contains the true label with thesame user-chosen probability. For the latter goal, existing conformal predictionmethods do not work well when there is a limited amount of labeled data perclass, as is often the case in real applications where the number of classes islarge. We propose a method called clustered conformal prediction thatclusters together classes having "similar" conformal scores and performs conformal prediction at the cluster level. Based on empirical evaluation acrossfour image data sets with many (up to 1000) classes, we find that clusteredconformal typically outperforms existing methods in terms of class-conditionalcoverage and set size metrics.

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