Distribution-Shift — the hidden reason self-driving cars aren’t safe yet.

Setup

Types of distribution-shift

Fig 1. A simplified illustration of the difference in distribution of visual features between two cities, New York City and Los Angeles. While Los Angeles is known for its Priuses, sports cars and summer wear, New York is characterized by yellow cabs and formalwear.
Fig 2. A simplified illustration of the difference in distribution of labels at different times of day in the same location. For example, there is usually less vehicular traffic but more pedestrian traffic after lunch as compared to peak-hour.

Distribution-shift in the real world

Left: Tokyo, Center: San Francisco, Right: New York
Left: Paris in the morning, Center: Paris at dawn, Right: Paris at night.
Left: New York City during non-peak hours, Right: New York City during peak hours.
Left: NYC in the Summer, Center: NYC during a rainy day, Right: NYC in the winter.
Left: Halloween, Center: Mardi Gras, Right: Holi
Left: Augmenting the visual domain to better highlight the sign, this results in no flicker, Right: Original image which causes a flicker.
Left: Main St. in 2009, Right Main St in 2019.

What can we do about this?

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