Trust Your Robots! Predictive Uncertainty Estimation of Neural Networks with Sparse Gaussian Processes
Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Robot Learning, PMLR 164:1168-1179, 2022.
This paper presents a probabilistic framework to obtain both reliable and fast uncertainty estimates for predictions with Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). Our main contribution is a practical and principled combination of DNNs with sparse Gaussian Processes (GPs). We prove theoretically that DNNs can be seen as a special case of sparse GPs, namely mixtures of GP experts (MoE-GP), and we devise a learning algorithm that brings the derived theory into practice. In experiments from two different robotic tasks – inverse dynamics of a manipulator and object detection on a micro-aerial vehicle (MAV) – we show the effectiveness of our approach in terms of predictive uncertainty, improved scalability, and run-time efficiency on a Jetson TX2. We thus argue that our approach can pave the way towards reliable and fast robot learning systems with uncertainty awareness.