LAVA: Data Valuation Without Pre-Specified Learning Algorithms

Today’s talk is about LAVA, an Optimal-Transport-based approach to data valuation that dispenses with training of a model to compute values.


We introduce LAVA [Jus23L], a novel approach to Data Valuation (DV) that can value training data in a way that is oblivious to the downstream learning algorithm, and some recent extensions. Our main results are as follows:

  1. We develop a proxy for the validation performance associated with a training set based on a non-conventional class-wise Wasserstein distance between training and validation sets. We show that the distance characterizes the upper bound of the validation performance for any given model under certain Lipschitz conditions.
  2. We develop a novel method to value individual data based on the sensitivity analysis of the class-wise Wasserstein distance. Importantly, these values can be directly obtained for free from the output of off-the-shelf optimization solvers when computing the distance.
  3. We evaluate our new data valuation framework over various use cases related to detecting low-quality data and show that, surprisingly, the learning-agnostic feature of our framework enables a significant improvement over SOTA performance while being orders of magnitude faster.