Delving into Out-of-Distribution Detection with Vision-Language Representations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yifei Ming, Ziyang Cai, Jiuxiang Gu, Yiyou Sun, Wei Li, Yixuan Li


Recognizing out-of-distribution (OOD) samples is critical for machine learning systems deployed in the open world. The vast majority of OOD detection methods are driven by a single modality (e.g., either vision or language), leaving the rich information in multi-modal representations untapped. Inspired by the recent success of vision-language pre-training, this paper enriches the landscape of OOD detection from a single-modal to a multi-modal regime. Particularly, we propose Maximum Concept Matching (MCM), a simple yet effective zero-shot OOD detection method based on aligning visual features with textual concepts. We contribute in-depth analysis and theoretical insights to understand the effectiveness of MCM. Extensive experiments demonstrate that MCM achieves superior performance on a wide variety of real-world tasks. MCM with vision-language features outperforms a common baseline with pure visual features on a hard OOD task with semantically similar classes by 13.1% (AUROC) Code is available at