Abstract: We study a two-stage scenario for learning to defer with multiple experts, which is crucial in practice for many applications. In this scenario, a predictor is derived in a first stage by training with a common loss function such as cross-entropy. In the second stage, a deferral function is learned to assign the most suitable expert to each input. We design a new family of surrogate loss functions for this scenario both in the score-based and the predictor-rejector settings and prove that they are supported by $H$-consistency bounds, which implies their Bayes-consistency. Moreover, we show that, for a constant cost function, our two-stage surrogate losses are realizable $H$-consistent. While the main focus of this work is a theoretical analysis, we also report the results of several experiments on CIFAR-10 and SVHN datasets.
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