Active Learning for Multiple Target Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Ying-Peng Tang, Sheng-Jun Huang


We describe and explore a novel setting of active learning (AL), where there are multiple target models to be learned simultaneously. In many real applications, the machine learning system is required to be deployed on diverse devices with varying computational resources (e.g., workstation, mobile phone, edge devices, etc.), which leads to the demand of training multiple target models on the same labeled dataset. However, it is generally believed that AL is model-dependent and untransferable, i.e., the data queried by one model may be less effective for training another model. This phenomenon naturally raises a question "Does there exist an AL method that is effective for multiple target models?" In this paper, we answer this question by theoretically analyzing the label complexity of active and passive learning under the setting with multiple target models, and conclude that AL does have potential to achieve better label complexity under this novel setting. Based on this insight, we further propose an agnostic AL sampling strategy to select the examples located in the joint disagreement regions of different target models. The experimental results on the OCR benchmarks show that the proposed method can significantly surpass the traditional active and passive learning methods under this challenging setting.