Learning Hierarchy Aware Features for Reducing Mistake Severity

Ashima Garg, Depanshu Sani, Saket Anand ;


"Label hierarchies are often available apriori as part of biological taxonomy or language datasets WordNet. Several works exploit these to learn hierarchy aware features in order to improve the classifier to make semantically meaningful mistakes while maintaining or reducing the overall error. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for learning Hierarchy Aware Features (HAF) that leverages classifiers at each level of the hierarchy that are constrained to generate predictions consistent with the label hierarchy. The classifiers are trained by minimizing a Jensen-Shannon Divergence with target soft labels obtained from the fine-grained classifiers. Additionally, we employ a simple geometric loss that constrains the feature space geometry to capture the semantic structure of the label space. HAF is a training time approach that improves the mistakes while maintaining top-1 error, thereby, addressing the problem of cross-entropy loss that treats all mistakes as equal. We evaluate HAF on three hierarchical datasets and achieve state-of-the-art results on the iNaturalist-19 and CIFAR-100 datasets."

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