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# Detecting Out-of-distribution Data through In-distribution Class Prior

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:15067-15088, 2023.

#### Abstract

Given a pre-trained in-distribution (ID) model, the inference-time out-of-distribution (OOD) detection aims to recognize OOD data during the inference stage. However, some representative methods share an unproven assumption that the probability that OOD data belong to every ID class should be the same, i.e., these OOD-to-ID probabilities actually form a uniform distribution. In this paper, we show that this assumption makes the above methods incapable when the ID model is trained with class-imbalanced data.Fortunately, by analyzing the causal relations between ID/OOD classes and features, we identify several common scenarios where the OOD-to-ID probabilities should be the ID-class-prior distribution and propose two strategies to modify existing inference-time detection methods: 1) replace the uniform distribution with the ID-class-prior distribution if they explicitly use the uniform distribution; 2) otherwise, reweight their scores according to the similarity between the ID-class-prior distribution and the softmax outputs of the pre-trained model. Extensive experiments show that both strategies can improve the OOD detection performance when the ID model is pre-trained with imbalanced data, reflecting the importance of ID-class prior in OOD detection.