Classic machine learning methods are built on the $i.i.d.$ assumption that training and testing data are independent and identically distributed. However, in real scenarios, the $i.i.d.$ assumption can hardly be satisfied, rendering the sharp drop of classic machine learning algorithms' performances under distributional shifts, which indicates the significance of investigating the Out-of-Distribution generalization problem. Out-of-Distribution (OOD) generalization problem addresses the challenging setting where the testing distribution is unknown and different from the training. This paper serves as the first effort to systematically and comprehensively discuss the OOD generalization problem, from the definition, methodology, evaluation to the implications and future directions. Firstly, we provide the formal definition of the OOD generalization problem. Secondly, existing methods are categorized into three parts based on their positions in the whole learning pipeline, namely unsupervised representation learning, supervised model learning and optimization, and typical methods for each category are discussed in detail. We then demonstrate the theoretical connections of different categories, and introduce the commonly used datasets and evaluation metrics. Finally, we summarize the whole literature and raise some future directions for OOD generalization problem. The summary of OOD generalization methods reviewed in this survey can be found at http://out-of-distribution-generalization.com.

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Out-of-distribution (OOD) detection and lossless compression constitute two problems that can be solved by the training of probabilistic models on a first dataset with subsequent likelihood evaluation on a second dataset, where data distributions differ. By defining the generalization of probabilistic models in terms of likelihood we show that, in the case of image models, the OOD generalization ability is dominated by local features. This motivates our proposal of a Local Autoregressive model that exclusively models local image features towards improving OOD performance. We apply the proposed model to OOD detection tasks and achieve state-of-the-art unsupervised OOD detection performance without the introduction of additional data. Additionally, we employ our model to build a new lossless image compressor: NeLLoC (Neural Local Lossless Compressor) and report state-of-the-art compression rates and model size.

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Out-of-distribution (OOD) detection is critical to ensuring the reliability and safety of machine learning systems. For instance, in autonomous driving, we would like the driving system to issue an alert and hand over the control to humans when it detects unusual scenes or objects that it has never seen before and cannot make a safe decision. This problem first emerged in 2017 and since then has received increasing attention from the research community, leading to a plethora of methods developed, ranging from classification-based to density-based to distance-based ones. Meanwhile, several other problems are closely related to OOD detection in terms of motivation and methodology. These include anomaly detection (AD), novelty detection (ND), open set recognition (OSR), and outlier detection (OD). Despite having different definitions and problem settings, these problems often confuse readers and practitioners, and as a result, some existing studies misuse terms. In this survey, we first present a generic framework called generalized OOD detection, which encompasses the five aforementioned problems, i.e., AD, ND, OSR, OOD detection, and OD. Under our framework, these five problems can be seen as special cases or sub-tasks, and are easier to distinguish. Then, we conduct a thorough review of each of the five areas by summarizing their recent technical developments. We conclude this survey with open challenges and potential research directions.

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Robustness to distribution shifts is critical for deploying machine learning models in the real world. Despite this necessity, there has been little work in defining the underlying mechanisms that cause these shifts and evaluating the robustness of algorithms across multiple, different distribution shifts. To this end, we introduce a framework that enables fine-grained analysis of various distribution shifts. We provide a holistic analysis of current state-of-the-art methods by evaluating 19 distinct methods grouped into five categories across both synthetic and real-world datasets. Overall, we train more than 85K models. Our experimental framework can be easily extended to include new methods, shifts, and datasets. We find, unlike previous work~\citep{Gulrajani20}, that progress has been made over a standard ERM baseline; in particular, pretraining and augmentations (learned or heuristic) offer large gains in many cases. However, the best methods are not consistent over different datasets and shifts.

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We evaluate the out-of-distribution (OOD) detection performance of self-supervised learning (SSL) techniques with a new evaluation framework. Unlike the previous evaluation methods, the proposed framework adjusts the distance of OOD samples from the in-distribution samples. We evaluate an extensive combination of OOD detection algorithms on three different implementations of the proposed framework using simulated samples, images, and text. SSL methods consistently demonstrated the improved OOD detection performance in all evaluation settings.

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The dominating NLP paradigm of training a strong neural predictor to perform one task on a specific dataset has led to state-of-the-art performance in a variety of applications (eg. sentiment classification, span-prediction based question answering or machine translation). However, it builds upon the assumption that the data distribution is stationary, ie. that the data is sampled from a fixed distribution both at training and test time. This way of training is inconsistent with how we as humans are able to learn from and operate within a constantly changing stream of information. Moreover, it is ill-adapted to real-world use cases where the data distribution is expected to shift over the course of a model's lifetime. The first goal of this thesis is to characterize the different forms this shift can take in the context of natural language processing, and propose benchmarks and evaluation metrics to measure its effect on current deep learning architectures. We then proceed to take steps to mitigate the effect of distributional shift on NLP models. To this end, we develop methods based on parametric reformulations of the distributionally robust optimization framework. Empirically, we demonstrate that these approaches yield more robust models as demonstrated on a selection of realistic problems. In the third and final part of this thesis, we explore ways of efficiently adapting existing models to new domains or tasks. Our contribution to this topic takes inspiration from information geometry to derive a new gradient update rule which alleviate catastrophic forgetting issues during adaptation.

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Generalization to out-of-distribution (OOD) data is a capability natural to humans yet challenging for machines to reproduce. This is because most learning algorithms strongly rely on the i.i.d.~assumption on source/target data, which is often violated in practice due to domain shift. Domain generalization (DG) aims to achieve OOD generalization by using only source data for model learning. Since first introduced in 2011, research in DG has made great progresses. In particular, intensive research in this topic has led to a broad spectrum of methodologies, e.g., those based on domain alignment, meta-learning, data augmentation, or ensemble learning, just to name a few; and has covered various vision applications such as object recognition, segmentation, action recognition, and person re-identification. In this paper, for the first time a comprehensive literature review is provided to summarize the developments in DG for computer vision over the past decade. Specifically, we first cover the background by formally defining DG and relating it to other research fields like domain adaptation and transfer learning. Second, we conduct a thorough review into existing methods and present a categorization based on their methodologies and motivations. Finally, we conclude this survey with insights and discussions on future research directions.

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Approaches based on deep neural networks have achieved striking performance when testing data and training data share similar distribution, but can significantly fail otherwise. Therefore, eliminating the impact of distribution shifts between training and testing data is crucial for building performance-promising deep models. Conventional methods assume either the known heterogeneity of training data (e.g. domain labels) or the approximately equal capacities of different domains. In this paper, we consider a more challenging case where neither of the above assumptions holds. We propose to address this problem by removing the dependencies between features via learning weights for training samples, which helps deep models get rid of spurious correlations and, in turn, concentrate more on the true connection between discriminative features and labels. Extensive experiments clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on multiple distribution generalization benchmarks compared with state-of-the-art counterparts. Through extensive experiments on distribution generalization benchmarks including PACS, VLCS, MNIST-M, and NICO, we show the effectiveness of our method compared with state-of-the-art counterparts.

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Domain generalization (DG), i.e., out-of-distribution generalization, has attracted increased interests in recent years. Domain generalization deals with a challenging setting where one or several different but related domain(s) are given, and the goal is to learn a model that can generalize to an unseen test domain. For years, great progress has been achieved. This paper presents the first review for recent advances in domain generalization. First, we provide a formal definition of domain generalization and discuss several related fields. Next, we thoroughly review the theories related to domain generalization and carefully analyze the theory behind generalization. Then, we categorize recent algorithms into three classes and present them in detail: data manipulation, representation learning, and learning strategy, each of which contains several popular algorithms. Third, we introduce the commonly used datasets and applications. Finally, we summarize existing literature and present some potential research topics for the future.

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Deep neural networks have been able to outperform humans in some cases like image recognition and image classification. However, with the emergence of various novel categories, the ability to continuously widen the learning capability of such networks from limited samples, still remains a challenge. Techniques like Meta-Learning and/or few-shot learning showed promising results, where they can learn or generalize to a novel category/task based on prior knowledge. In this paper, we perform a study of the existing few-shot meta-learning techniques in the computer vision domain based on their method and evaluation metrics. We provide a taxonomy for the techniques and categorize them as data-augmentation, embedding, optimization and semantics based learning for few-shot, one-shot and zero-shot settings. We then describe the seminal work done in each category and discuss their approach towards solving the predicament of learning from few samples. Lastly we provide a comparison of these techniques on the commonly used benchmark datasets: Omniglot, and MiniImagenet, along with a discussion towards the future direction of improving the performance of these techniques towards the final goal of outperforming humans.

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The demand for artificial intelligence has grown significantly over the last decade and this growth has been fueled by advances in machine learning techniques and the ability to leverage hardware acceleration. However, in order to increase the quality of predictions and render machine learning solutions feasible for more complex applications, a substantial amount of training data is required. Although small machine learning models can be trained with modest amounts of data, the input for training larger models such as neural networks grows exponentially with the number of parameters. Since the demand for processing training data has outpaced the increase in computation power of computing machinery, there is a need for distributing the machine learning workload across multiple machines, and turning the centralized into a distributed system. These distributed systems present new challenges, first and foremost the efficient parallelization of the training process and the creation of a coherent model. This article provides an extensive overview of the current state-of-the-art in the field by outlining the challenges and opportunities of distributed machine learning over conventional (centralized) machine learning, discussing the techniques used for distributed machine learning, and providing an overview of the systems that are available.

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