Interpretable Self-Aware Neural Networks for Robust Trajectory Prediction
Proceedings of The 6th Conference on Robot Learning, PMLR 205:606-617, 2023.
Although neural networks have seen tremendous success as predictive models in a variety of domains, they can be overly confident in their predictions on out-of-distribution (OOD) data. To be viable for safety-critical applications, like autonomous vehicles, neural networks must accurately estimate their epistemic or model uncertainty, achieving a level of system self-awareness. Techniques for epistemic uncertainty quantification often require OOD data during training or multiple neural network forward passes during inference. These approaches may not be suitable for real-time performance on high-dimensional inputs. Furthermore, existing methods lack interpretability of the estimated uncertainty, which limits their usefulness both to engineers for further system development and to downstream modules in the autonomy stack. We propose the use of evidential deep learning to estimate the epistemic uncertainty over a low-dimensional, interpretable latent space in a trajectory prediction setting. We introduce an interpretable paradigm for trajectory prediction that distributes the uncertainty among the semantic concepts: past agent behavior, road structure, and social context. We validate our approach on real-world autonomous driving data, demonstrating superior performance over state-of-the-art baselines.