Epistemic Neural Networks

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

Bibtex Paper


Ian Osband, Zheng Wen, Seyed Mohammad Asghari, Vikranth Dwaracherla, MORTEZA IBRAHIMI, Xiuyuan Lu, Benjamin Van Roy


Intelligence relies on an agent's knowledge of what it does not know.This capability can be assessed based on the quality of joint predictions of labels across multiple inputs.In principle, ensemble-based approaches can produce effective joint predictions, but the computational costs of large ensembles become prohibitive.We introduce the epinet: an architecture that can supplement any conventional neural network, including large pretrained models, and can be trained with modest incremental computation to estimate uncertainty.With an epinet, conventional neural networks outperform very large ensembles, consisting of hundreds or more particles, with orders of magnitude less computation.The epinet does not fit the traditional framework of Bayesian neural networks.To accommodate development of approaches beyond BNNs, such as the epinet, we introduce the epistemic neural network (ENN) as a general interface for models that produce joint predictions.