Unsupervised out-of-distribution (OOD) detection is essential for the reliability of machine learning. In the literature, existing work has shown that higher-level semantics captured by hierarchical VAEs can be used to detect OOD instances.However, we empirically show that, the inherent issue of hierarchical VAEs, i.e., `
posterior collapse'', would seriously limit their capacity for OOD detection.Based on a thorough analysis forposterior collapse'', we propose a novel informative hierarchical VAE to alleviate this issue through enhancing the connections between the data sample and its multi-layer stochastic latent representations during training.Furthermore, we propose a novel score function for unsupervised OOD detection, referred to as Adaptive Likelihood Ratio. With this score function, one can selectively aggregate the semantic information on multiple hidden layers of hierarchical VAEs, leading to a strong separability between in-distribution and OOD samples. Experimental results demonstrate that our method can significantly outperform existing state-of-the-art unsupervised OOD detection approaches.