Learning Debiased Classifier with Biased Committee

Nayeong Kim · SEHYUN HWANG · Sungsoo Ahn · Jaesik Park · Suha Kwak

Hall J #426

Keywords: [ Debiasing ] [ spurious correlation ] [ bootstrap ensemble ] [ image classification ] [ Self-supervised learning ]

[ Abstract ]
[ Paper [ Poster [ OpenReview
Thu 1 Dec 9 a.m. PST — 11 a.m. PST


Neural networks are prone to be biased towards spurious correlations between classes and latent attributes exhibited in a major portion of training data, which ruins their generalization capability. We propose a new method for training debiased classifiers with no spurious attribute label. The key idea is to employ a committee of classifiers as an auxiliary module that identifies bias-conflicting data, i.e., data without spurious correlation, and assigns large weights to them when training the main classifier. The committee is learned as a bootstrapped ensemble so that a majority of its classifiers are biased as well as being diverse, and intentionally fail to predict classes of bias-conflicting data accordingly. The consensus within the committee on prediction difficulty thus provides a reliable cue for identifying and weighting bias-conflicting data. Moreover, the committee is also trained with knowledge transferred from the main classifier so that it gradually becomes debiased along with the main classifier and emphasizes more difficult data as training progresses. On five real-world datasets, our method outperforms prior arts using no spurious attribute label like ours and even surpasses those relying on bias labels occasionally. Our code is available at

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