Distributionally Robust Multi-Output Regression Ranking

by   Shahabeddin Sotudian, et al.

Despite their empirical success, most existing listwiselearning-to-rank (LTR) models are not built to be robust to errors in labeling or annotation, distributional data shift, or adversarial data perturbations. To fill this gap, we introduce a new listwise LTR model called Distributionally Robust Multi-output Regression Ranking (DRMRR). Different from existing methods, the scoring function of DRMRR was designed as a multivariate mapping from a feature vector to a vector of deviation scores, which captures local context information and cross-document interactions. DRMRR uses a Distributionally Robust Optimization (DRO) framework to minimize a multi-output loss function under the most adverse distributions in the neighborhood of the empirical data distribution defined by a Wasserstein ball. We show that this is equivalent to a regularized regression problem with a matrix norm regularizer. Our experiments were conducted on two real-world applications, medical document retrieval, and drug response prediction, showing that DRMRR notably outperforms state-of-the-art LTR models. We also conducted a comprehensive analysis to assess the resilience of DRMRR against various types of noise: Gaussian noise, adversarial perturbations, and label poisoning. We show that DRMRR is not only able to achieve significantly better performance than other baselines, but it can maintain a relatively stable performance as more noise is added to the data.


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