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Provable Multi-instance Deep AUC Maximization with Stochastic Pooling

Dixian Zhu · Bokun Wang · Zhi Chen · Yaxing Wang · Milan Sonka · Xiaodong Wu · Tianbao Yang

Exhibit Hall 1 #210


This paper considers a novel application of deep AUC maximization (DAM) for multi-instance learning (MIL), in which a single class label is assigned to a bag of instances (e.g., multiple 2D slices of a CT scan for a patient). We address a neglected yet non-negligible computational challenge of MIL in the context of DAM, i.e., bag size is too large to be loaded into GPU memory for backpropagation, which is required by the standard pooling methods of MIL. To tackle this challenge, we propose variance-reduced stochastic pooling methods in the spirit of stochastic optimization by formulating the loss function over the pooled prediction as a multi-level compositional function. By synthesizing techniques from stochastic compositional optimization and non-convex min-max optimization, we propose a unified and provable muli-instance DAM (MIDAM) algorithm with stochastic smoothed-max pooling or stochastic attention-based pooling, which only samples a few instances for each bag to compute a stochastic gradient estimator and to update the model parameter. We establish a similar convergence rate of the proposed MIDAM algorithm as the state-of-the-art DAM algorithms. Our extensive experiments on conventional MIL datasets and medical datasets demonstrate the superiority of our MIDAM algorithm. The method is open-sourced at

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