Active Learning

Jun 12, 2019



Active Embedding Search via Noisy Paired Comparisons Suppose that we wish to estimate a user’s preference vector w from paired comparisons of the form “does user w prefer item p or item q?,” where both the user and items are embedded in a low-dimensional Euclidean space with distances that reflect user and item similarities. Such observations arise in numerous settings, including psychometrics and psychology experiments, search tasks, advertising, and recommender systems. In such tasks, queries can be extremely costly and subject to varying levels of response noise; thus, we aim to actively choose pairs that are most informative given the results of previous comparisons. We provide new theoretical insights into the benefits and challenges of greedy information maximization in this setting, and develop two novel heuristics that maximize lower bounds on information gain and are simpler to analyze and compute respectively. We use simulated responses from a real-world dataset to validate our heuristics through their similar performance to greedy information maximization, and their superior preference estimation over state-of-the-art selection methods as well as random queries. Fast Direct Search in an Optimally Compressed Continuous Target Space for Efficient Multi-Label Active Learning Active learning for multi-label classification poses fundamental challenges given the complex label correlations and a potentially large and sparse label space. We propose a novel CS-BPCA process that integrates compressed sensing and Bayesian principal component analysis to perform a two-level label transformation, resulting in an optimally compressed continuous target space. Besides leveraging correlation and sparsity of a large label space for effective compression, an optimal compressing rate and the relative importance of the resultant targets are automatically determined through Bayesian inference. Furthermore, the orthogonality of the transformed space completely decouples the correlations among targets, which significantly simplifies multi-label sampling in the target space. We define a novel sampling function that leverages a multi-output Gaussian Process (MOGP). Gradient-free optimization strategies are developed to achieve fast online hyper-parameter learning and model retraining for active learning. Experimental results over multiple real-world datasets and comparison with competitive multi-label active learning models demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Myopic Posterior Sampling for Adaptive Goal Oriented Design of Experiments Bayesian methods for adaptive decision-making, such as Bayesian optimisation, active learning, and active search have seen great success in relevant applications. However, real world data collection tasks are more broad and complex, as we may need to achieve a combination of the above goals and/or application specific goals. In such scenarios, specialised methods have limited applicability. In this work, we design a new myopic strategy for a wide class of adaptive design of experiment (DOE) problems, where we wish to collect data in order to fulfil a given goal. Our approach, Myopic Posterior Sampling (\mps), which is inspired by the classical posterior sampling algorithm for multi-armed bandits, enables us to address a broad suite of DOE tasks where a practitioner may incorporate domain expertise about the system and specify her desired goal via a reward function. Empirically, this general-purpose strategy is competitive with more specialised methods in a wide array of synthetic and real world DOE tasks. More importantly, it enables addressing complex DOE goals where no existing method seems applicable. On the theoretical side, we leverage ideas from adaptive submodularity and reinforcement learning to derive conditions under which \mpss achieves sublinear regret against natural benchmark policies. Bayesian Generative Active Deep Learning Deep learning models have demonstrated outstanding performance in several problems, but their training process tends to require immense amounts of computational and human resources for training and labeling, constraining the types of problems that can be tackled. Therefore, the design of effective training methods that require small labeled training sets is an important research direction that will allow a more effective use of resources. Among current approaches designed to address this issue, two are particularly interesting: data augmentation and active learning. Data augmentation achieves this goal by artificially generating new training points, while active learning relies on the selection of the most informative'' subset of unlabeled training samples to be labelled by an oracle. Although successful in practice, data augmentation can waste computational resources because it indiscriminately generates samples that are not guaranteed to be informative, and active learning selects a small subset of informative samples (from a large un-annotated set) that may be insufficient for the training process. In this paper, we propose a Bayesian generative active deep learning approach that combines active learning with data augmentation -- we provide theoretical and empirical evidence (MNIST, CIFAR-10,100, and SVHN) that our approach has more efficient training and better classification results than data augmentation and active learning. Active Learning for Probabilistic Structured Prediction of Cuts and Matchings Active learning methods, like uncertainty sampling, combined with probabilistic prediction techniques have achieved success in various problems like image classification and text classification. For more complex multivariate prediction tasks, the relationships between labels play an important role in designing structured classifiers with better performance. However, computational time complexity limits prevalent probabilistic methods from effectively supporting active learning. Specifically, while non-probabilistic methods based on structured support vector ma-chines can be tractably applied to predicting cuts and bipartite matchings, conditional random fields are intractable for these structures. We propose an adversarial approach for active learning with structured prediction domains that is tractable for cuts and matching. We evaluate this approach algorithmically in two important structured prediction problems: multi-label classification and object tracking in videos. We demonstrate better accuracy and computational efficiency for our proposed method. Active Learning with Disagreement Graphs We present two novel enhancements of an online importance-weighted active learning algorithm IWAL, using the properties of disagreements among hypotheses. The first enhancement, IWALD, prunes the hypothesis set with a more aggressive strategy based on the disagreement graph. We show that IWAL-D improves the generalization performance and the label complexity of the original IWAL, and quantify the improvement in terms of the disagreement graph coefficient. The second enhancement, IZOOM, further improves IWAL-D by adaptively zooming into the current version space and thus reducing the best-in-class error. We show that IZOOM admits favorable theoretical guarantees with the changing hypothesis set. We report experimental results on multiple datasets and demonstrate that the proposed algorithms achieve better test performances than IWAL given the same amount of labeling budget. Multi-Frequency Vector Diffusion Maps We introduce multi-frequency vector diffusion maps (MFVDM), a new framework for organizing and analyzing high dimensional data sets. The new method is a mathematical and algorithmic generalization of vector diffusion maps (VDM) and other non-linear dimensionality reduction methods. The idea of MFVDM is to incorporates multiple unitary irreducible representations of the alignment group which introduces robustness to noise. We illustrate the efficacy of MFVDM on synthetic and cryo-EM image datasets, achieving better nearest neighbors search and alignment estimation than other baselines as VDM and diffusion maps (DM), especially on extremely noisy data. Co-manifold learning with missing data Representation learning is typically applied to only one mode of a data matrix, either its rows or columns. Yet in many applications, there is an underlying geometry to both the rows and the columns. We propose utilizing this coupled structure to perform co-manifold learning: uncovering the underlying geometry of both the rows and the columns of a given matrix, where we focus on a missing data setting. Our unsupervised approach consists of three components. We first solve a family of optimization problems to estimate a complete matrix at multiple scales of smoothness. We then use this collection of smooth matrix estimates to compute pairwise distances on the rows and columns based on a new multi-scale metric that implicitly introduces a coupling between the rows and the columns. Finally, we construct row and column representations from these multi-scale metrics. We demonstrate that our approach outperforms competing methods in both data visualization and clustering.



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