The Diversified Ensemble Neural Network

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

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Shaofeng Zhang, Meng Liu, Junchi Yan


Ensemble is a general way of improving the accuracy and stability of learning models, especially for the generalization ability on small datasets. Compared with tree-based methods, relatively less works have been devoted to an in-depth study on effective ensemble design for neural networks. In this paper, we propose a principled ensemble technique by constructing the so-called diversified ensemble layer to combine multiple networks as individual modules. We theoretically show that each individual model in our ensemble layer corresponds to weights in the ensemble layer optimized in different directions. Meanwhile, the devised ensemble layer can be readily integrated into popular neural architectures, including CNNs, RNNs, and GCNs. Extensive experiments are conducted on public tabular datasets, images, and texts. By adopting weight sharing approach, the results show our method can notably improve the accuracy and stability of the original neural networks with ignorable extra time and space overhead.