Workshop: Information-Theoretic Methods for Rigorous, Responsible, and Reliable Machine Learning (ITR3)

Prediction-focused Mixture Models

Abhishek Sharma · Sanjana Narayanan · Catherine Zeng · Finale Doshi-Velez


In several applications, besides getting a generative model of the data, we also want the model to be useful for specific downstream tasks. Mixture models are useful for identifying discrete components in the data, but may not identify components useful for downstream tasks if misspecified; further, current inference techniques often fail to overcome misspecification even when a supervisory signal is provided. We introduce the prediction-focused mixture model, which selects and models input features relevant to predicting the targets. We demonstrate that our approach identifies relevant signal from inputs even when the model is highly misspecified.

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