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The Importance of Background Information for Out of Distribution Generalization
Jupinder Parmar · Khaled Saab · Brian Pogatchnik · Daniel Rubin · Christopher Ré
Event URL: https://openreview.net/forum?id=VgRy7fQKyLt »

Domain generalization in medical image classification is an important problem for trustworthy machine learning to be deployed in healthcare. We find that existing approaches which utilize ground-truth abnormality segmentations to control feature attributions have poor out of distribution (OOD) performance relative the standard baseline of empirical risk minimization (ERM). We investigate what regions of an image are important for the task and show that parts of the background, that which is not contained in the abnormality segmentation, provides helpful signal. We then develop a new task-specific mask which covers all relevant regions. Utilizing this new segmentation mask significantly improves the performance of the methods on the OOD test sets. To obtain better generalization results than ERM, we find it necessary to scale up the training data size in addition to the usage of these task-specific masks.

Author Information

Jupinder Parmar (Stanford University)
Khaled Saab (Stanford University)
Brian Pogatchnik (Stanford University)
Daniel Rubin (Stanford University)
Christopher Ré (Stanford University)

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