Many readers familiar with scientific articles in the field of deep learning-based computer vision might have observed a common practice: the absence of statistical significance tests for comparing the algorithms. Whether the focus is on classification, semantic segmentation, object detection, or other tasks, research papers typically present comparison tables showcasing state-of-the-art approaches versus their own, using various metrics like accuracy, IoU, F1-score, and more. Yet, the application of statistical tests to demonstrate the superiority of one method over another is conspicuously lacking. This raises several questions:

  1. Why is the use of statistical tests infrequent in these articles?
  2. What's the rationale behind reporting performance based solely on the results from the final training epoch?
  3. How can we be certain that the observed differences, sometimes of only a few percentage points, are statistically significant?
  4. Is the absence of statistical tests due to the time and cost associated with repeated model training?
  5. Is it assumed that having a substantial amount of data makes test performance reliable? If so, how much data is considered sufficient to trust the metrics?
  6. Can we estimate confidence intervals by examining the variability of an accuracy metric over time within a single training run, or is it necessary to rely on multiple training runs to obtain this information?
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    $\begingroup$ For the question in the title of your post, uncharitable suspicions come to mind. And likely, nobody but the authors of the papers in question can answer. Authors who, I suspect, are not regular visitors here. However, the other questions in your post are quite different from the question in your title, especially questions 2, 5 and 6. Perhaps you want to reduce your scope, and potentially ask additional questions? $\endgroup$ Oct 30, 2023 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @StephanKolassa The practice is so common that I suspect there is an obvious motivation that I am missing. I think there is no need for the authors of those studies to respond, which is why I am asking here. $\endgroup$
    – ricber
    Oct 30, 2023 at 16:47
  • $\begingroup$ @StephanKolassa As regards the other questions, everything starts with the one concerning the title. I hope you can catch a glimpse of the path of my reasoning. Admittedly, my path of reasoning may have led me away from the title question, but I believe that all the questions are somehow related to each other. Would you suggest that I rewrite the title of this question or split this question into several questions? $\endgroup$
    – ricber
    Oct 30, 2023 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ Related: stats.stackexchange.com/questions/550308/… $\endgroup$
    – Sycorax
    Oct 30, 2023 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is a duplicate of the link posted by Sycorax. @ricber does that answer your questions? $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Oct 30, 2023 at 17:35