Effective End-to-end Unsupervised Outlier Detection via Inlier Priority of Discriminative Network

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Siqi Wang, Yijie Zeng, Xinwang Liu, En Zhu, Jianping Yin, Chuanfu Xu, Marius Kloft


<p>Despite the wide success of deep neural networks (DNN), little progress has been made on end-to-end unsupervised outlier detection (UOD) from high dimensional data like raw images. In this paper, we propose a framework named E^3Outlier, which can perform UOD in a both effective and end-to-end manner: First, instead of the commonly-used autoencoders in previous end-to-end UOD methods, E^3Outlier for the first time leverages a discriminative DNN for better representation learning, by using surrogate supervision to create multiple pseudo classes from original unlabelled data. Next, unlike classic UOD that utilizes data characteristics like density or proximity, we exploit a novel property named inlier priority to enable end-to-end UOD by discriminative DNN. We demonstrate theoretically and empirically that the intrinsic class imbalance of inliers/outliers will make the network prioritize minimizing inliers' loss when inliers/outliers are indiscriminately fed into the network for training, which enables us to differentiate outliers directly from DNN's outputs. Finally, based on inlier priority, we propose the negative entropy based score as a simple and effective outlierness measure. Extensive evaluations show that E^3Outlier significantly advances UOD performance by up to 30% AUROC against state-of-the-art counterparts, especially on relatively difficult benchmarks.</p>