Publication
NeurIPS 2022
Conference paper

Finding Differences Between Transformers and ConvNets Using Counterfactual Simulation Testing

Abstract

Contemporary deep neural networks tend to be evaluated on static test sets. One shortcoming of this is the fact that these deep neural networks cannot be easily evaluated for robustness issues with respect to specific scene variations. For example, it is hard to study the robustness of these networks to variations of object scale, object pose, scene lighting and 3D occlusions. The main reason is that collecting real datasets with fine-grained naturalistic variations can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. In this work, we present Counterfactual Simulation Testing, a counterfactual framework that allows us to study the robustness of neural networks with respect to some of these naturalistic variations by building realistic synthetic scenes that allow us to ask counterfactual questions to the models, ultimately providing answers to questions such as "Would your classification still be correct if the object were viewed from the top?" or "Would your classification still be correct if the object would be partially occluded by another object?". Our method allows for a fair comparison of the robustness of recently released, state-of-the-art Convolutional Neural Networks and Vision Transformers, with respect to these naturalistic variations. We find evidence that ConvNext is more robust to pose and scale variations than Swin, that ConvNext generalizes better to our simulated domain and that Swin handles partial occlusion better than ConvNext. We also find that robustness for all networks improves with network scale and with data scale and variety.

Date

26 Nov 2022

Publication

NeurIPS 2022

Authors

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