Translated Learning: Transfer Learning across Different Feature Spaces

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

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Wenyuan Dai, Yuqiang Chen, Gui-rong Xue, Qiang Yang, Yong Yu


This paper investigates a new machine learning strategy called translated learning. Unlike many previous learning tasks, we focus on how to use labeled data from one feature space to enhance the classification of other entirely different learning spaces. For example, we might wish to use labeled text data to help learn a model for classifying image data, when the labeled images are difficult to obtain. An important aspect of translated learning is to build a "bridge" to link one feature space (known as the "source space") to another space (known as the "target space") through a translator in order to migrate the knowledge from source to target. The translated learning solution uses a language model to link the class labels to the features in the source spaces, which in turn is translated to the features in the target spaces. Finally, this chain of linkages is completed by tracing back to the instances in the target spaces. We show that this path of linkage can be modeled using a Markov chain and risk minimization. Through experiments on the text-aided image classification and cross-language classification tasks, we demonstrate that our translated learning framework can greatly outperform many state-of-the-art baseline methods.