Semi-Supervised Partial Label Learning via Confidence-Rated Margin Maximization

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Wei Wang, Min-Ling Zhang


Partial label learning assumes inaccurate supervision where each training example is associated with a set of candidate labels, among which only one is valid. In many real-world scenarios, however, it is costly and time-consuming to assign candidate label sets to all the training examples. To circumvent this difficulty, the problem of semi-supervised partial label learning is investigated in this paper, where unlabeled data is utilized to facilitate model induction along with partial label training examples. Specifically, label propagation is adopted to instantiate the labeling confidence of partial label examples. After that, maximum margin formulation is introduced to jointly enable the induction of predictive model and the estimation of labeling confidence over unlabeled data. The derived formulation enforces confidence-rated margin maximization and confidence manifold preservation over partial label examples and unlabeled data. We show that the predictive model and labeling confidence can be solved via alternating optimization which admits QP solutions in either alternating step. Extensive experiments on synthetic as well as real-world data sets clearly validate the effectiveness of the proposed semi-supervised partial label learning approach.