Two-Stage Learning to Defer with Multiple Experts

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Anqi Mao, Christopher Mohri, Mehryar Mohri, Yutao Zhong


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.