EXACT: How to Train Your Accuracy


Classification tasks are usually evaluated in terms of accuracy. However, accuracy is discontinuous and cannot be directly optimized using gradient ascent. Popular methods minimize cross-entropy, Hinge loss, or other surrogate losses, which can lead to suboptimal results. In this paper, we propose a new optimization framework by introducing stochasticity to a model’s output and optimizing expected accuracy, i.e. accuracy of the stochastic model. Extensive experiments on image classification show that the proposed optimization method is a powerful alternative to widely used classification losses.

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