Discriminative Batch Mode Active Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 20 (NIPS 2007)

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Yuhong Guo, Dale Schuurmans


Active learning sequentially selects unlabeled instances to label with the goal of reducing the effort needed to learn a good classifier. Most previous studies in active learning have focused on selecting one unlabeled instance at one time while retraining in each iteration. However, single instance selection systems are unable to exploit a parallelized labeler when one is available. Recently a few batch mode active learning approaches have been proposed that select a set of most informative unlabeled instances in each iteration, guided by some heuristic scores. In this paper, we propose a discriminative batch mode active learning approach that formulates the instance selection task as a continuous optimization problem over auxiliary instance selection variables. The optimization is formuated to maximize the discriminative classification performance of the target classifier, while also taking the unlabeled data into account. Although the objective is not convex, we can manipulate a quasi-Newton method to obtain a good local solution. Our empirical studies on UCI datasets show that the proposed active learning is more effective than current state-of-the art batch mode active learning algorithms.