A Whac-A-Mole Dilemma: Shortcuts Come in Multiples Where Mitigating One Amplifies Others

Zhiheng Li, Ivan Evtimov, Albert Gordo, Caner Hazirbas, Tal Hassner, Cristian Canton Ferrer, Chenliang Xu, Mark Ibrahim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Machine learning models have been found to learn shortcuts - unintended decision rules that are unable to generalize - undermining models' reliability. Previous works address this problem under the tenuous assumption that only a single shortcut exists in the training data. Real-world images are rife with multiple visual cues from background to texture. Key to advancing the reliability of vision systems is understanding whether existing methods can overcome multiple shortcuts or struggle in a Whac-A-Mole game, i.e., where mitigating one shortcut amplifies reliance on others. To address this shortcoming, we propose two benchmarks: 1) UrbanCars, a dataset with precisely controlled spurious cues, and 2) ImageNet-W, an evaluation set based on ImageNet for watermark, a shortcut we discovered affects nearly every modern vision model. Along with texture and background, ImageNet-W allows us to study multiple shortcuts emerging from training on natural images. We find computer vision models, including large foundation models - regardless of training set, architecture, and supervision - struggle when multiple shortcuts are present. Even methods explicitly designed to combat shortcuts struggle in a Whac-A-Mole dilemma. To tackle this challenge, we propose Last Layer Ensemble, a simple-yet-effective method to mitigate multiple shortcuts without Whac-A-Mole behavior. Our results surface multi-shortcut mitigation as an overlooked challenge critical to advancing the reliability of vision systems. The datasets and code are released: https://github.com/facebookresearch/Whac-A-Mole.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2023 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2023
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages20071-20082
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9798350301298
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event2023 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2023 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 18 Jun 202322 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
Volume2023-June
ISSN (Print)1063-6919

Conference

Conference2023 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2023
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVancouver
Period18/06/2322/06/23

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 IEEE.

Keywords

  • Transfer
  • continual
  • low-shot
  • meta
  • or long-tail learning

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