Active Estimation of F-Measures

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Christoph Sawade, Niels Landwehr, Tobias Scheffer


We address the problem of estimating the F-measure of a given model as accurately as possible on a fixed labeling budget. This problem occurs whenever an estimate cannot be obtained from held-out training data; for instance, when data that have been used to train the model are held back for reasons of privacy or do not reflect the test distribution. In this case, new test instances have to be drawn and labeled at a cost. An active estimation procedure selects instances according to an instrumental sampling distribution. An analysis of the sources of estimation error leads to an optimal sampling distribution that minimizes estimator variance. We explore conditions under which active estimates of F-measures are more accurate than estimates based on instances sampled from the test distribution.