OoD-Bench: Benchmarking and Understanding Out-of-Distribution Generalization Datasets and Algorithms

Nanyang Ye, Kaican Li, Lanqing Hong, Haoyue Bai, Yiting Chen, Fengwei Zhou, Zhenguo Li

Deep learning has achieved tremendous success with independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) data. However, the performance of neural networks often degenerates drastically when encountering out-of-distribution (OoD) data, i.e., training and test data are sampled from different distributions. While a plethora of algorithms has been proposed to deal with OoD generalization, our understanding of the data used to train and evaluate these algorithms remains stagnant. In this work, we position existing datasets and algorithms from various research areas (e.g., domain generalization, stable learning, invariant risk minimization) seemingly unconnected into the same coherent picture. First, we identify and measure two distinct kinds of distribution shifts that are ubiquitous in various datasets. Next, we compare various OoD generalization algorithms with a new benchmark dominated by the two distribution shifts. Through extensive experiments, we show that existing OoD algorithms that outperform empirical risk minimization on one distribution shift usually have limitations on the other distribution shift. The new benchmark may serve as a strong foothold that can be resorted to by future OoD generalization research.

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