Further Analysis of Outlier Detection with Deep Generative Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)

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Ziyu Wang, Bin Dai, David Wipf, Jun Zhu


<p>The recent, counter-intuitive discovery that deep generative models (DGMs) can frequently assign a higher likelihood to outliers has implications for both outlier detection applications as well as our overall understanding of generative modeling. In this work, we present a possible explanation for this phenomenon, starting from the observation that a model's typical set and high-density region may not conincide. From this vantage point we propose a novel outlier test, the empirical success of which suggests that the failure of existing likelihood-based outlier tests does not necessarily imply that the corresponding generative model is uncalibrated. We also conduct additional experiments to help disentangle the impact of low-level texture versus high-level semantics in differentiating outliers. In aggregate, these results suggest that modifications to the standard evaluation practices and benchmarks commonly applied in the literature are needed.</p>