Leveraging Task Structures for Improved Identifiability in Neural Network Representations


This work extends the theory of identifiability in supervised learning by considering the consequences of having access to a distribution of tasks. In such cases, we show that identifiability is achievable even in the case of regression, extending prior work restricted to the single-task classification case. Furthermore, we show that the existence of a task distribution which defines a conditional prior over latent variables reduces the equivalence class for identifiability to permutations and scaling, a much stronger and more useful result. When we further assume a causal structure over these tasks, our approach enables simple maximum marginal likelihood optimization together with downstream applicability to causal representation learning. Empirically, we validate that our model outperforms more general unsupervised models in recovering canonical representations for synthetic and real-world data.

ICML 2023 Workshop on Spurious Correlations, Invariance and Stability (SCIS)
Wenlin Chen
Wenlin Chen
PhD Student in Machine Learning