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Learning Noise Transition Matrix from Only Noisy Labels via Total Variation Regularization
Yivan Zhang · Gang Niu · Masashi Sugiyama

Thu Jul 22 06:00 AM -- 06:20 AM (PDT) @ None

Many weakly supervised classification methods employ a noise transition matrix to capture the class-conditional label corruption. To estimate the transition matrix from noisy data, existing methods often need to estimate the noisy class-posterior, which could be unreliable due to the overconfidence of neural networks. In this work, we propose a theoretically grounded method that can estimate the noise transition matrix and learn a classifier simultaneously, without relying on the error-prone noisy class-posterior estimation. Concretely, inspired by the characteristics of the stochastic label corruption process, we propose total variation regularization, which encourages the predicted probabilities to be more distinguishable from each other. Under mild assumptions, the proposed method yields a consistent estimator of the transition matrix. We show the effectiveness of the proposed method through experiments on benchmark and real-world datasets.

Author Information

Yivan Zhang (The University of Tokyo / RIKEN)
Gang Niu (RIKEN)

Gang Niu is currently a research scientist (indefinite-term) at RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project. He received the PhD degree in computer science from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2013. Before joining RIKEN as a research scientist, he was a senior software engineer at Baidu and then an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo. He has published more than 70 journal articles and conference papers, including 14 NeurIPS (1 oral and 3 spotlights), 28 ICML, and 2 ICLR (1 oral) papers. He has served as an area chair 14 times, including ICML 2019--2021, NeurIPS 2019--2021, and ICLR 2021--2022.

Masashi Sugiyama (RIKEN / The University of Tokyo)

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