Expectation consistency for calibration of neural networks
Proceedings of the Thirty-Ninth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, PMLR 216:443-453, 2023.
Despite their incredible performance, it is well reported that deep neural networks tend to be overoptimistic about their prediction confidence. Finding effective and efficient calibration methods for neural networks is therefore an important endeavour towards better uncertainty quantification in deep learning. In this manuscript, we introduce a novel calibration technique named expectation consistency (EC), consisting of a post-training rescaling of the last layer weights by enforcing that the average validation confidence coincides with the average proportion of correct labels. First, we show that the EC method achieves similar calibration performance to temperature scaling (TS) across different neural network architectures and data sets, all while requiring similar validation samples and computational resources. However, we argue that EC provides a principled method grounded on a Bayesian optimality principle known as the Nishimori identity. Next, we provide an asymptotic characterization of both TS and EC in a synthetic setting and show that their performance crucially depends on the target function. In particular, we discuss examples where EC significantly outperforms TS.