Cousins Of The Vendi Score: A Family Of Similarity-Based Diversity Metrics For Science And Machine Learning

Amey P. Pasarkar, Adji Bousso Dieng

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Measuring diversity accurately is important for many scientific fields, including machine learning (ml), ecology, and chemistry. The Vendi Score was introduced as a generic similarity-based diversity metric that extends the Hill number of order q = 1 by leveraging ideas from quantum statistical mechanics. Contrary to many diversity metrics in ecology, the Vendi Score accounts for similarity and does not require knowledge of the prevalence of the categories in the collection to be evaluated for diversity. However, the Vendi Score treats each item in a given collection with a level of sensitivity proportional to the item’s prevalence. This is undesirable in settings where there is a significant imbalance in item prevalence. In this paper, we extend the other Hill numbers using similarity to provide flexibility in allocating sensitivity to rare or common items. This leads to a family of diversity metrics—Vendi scores with different levels of sensitivity controlled by the order q—that can be used in a variety of applications. We study the properties of the scores in a synthetic controlled setting where the ground truth diversity is known. We then test the utility of the Vendi scores in improving molecular simulations via Vendi Sampling. Finally, we use the scores to better understand the behavior of image generative models in terms of memorization, duplication, diversity, and sample quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3808-3816
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of Machine Learning Research
StatePublished - 2024
Event27th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, AISTATS 2024 - Valencia, Spain
Duration: May 2 2024May 4 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Statistics and Probability


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