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Positive Unlabeled Contrastive Representation Learning
Anish Acharya · Sujay Sanghavi · Li Jing · Bhargav Bhushanam · Michael Rabbat · Dhruv Choudhary · Inderjit Dhillon
Self-supervised pretraining on unlabeled data followed by supervised finetuning on labeled data is a popular paradigm for learning from limited labeled examples. In this paper, we investigate and extend this paradigm to the classical positive unlabeled (PU) setting - the weakly supervised taskof learning a binary classifier only using a few labeled positive examples and a set of unlabeled samples. We propose a novel contrastive objective - positive unlabeled Noise Contrastive Estimation (puNCE) that leverages the available explicit (from labeled samples) and implicit (from unlabeled samples) supervision to learn useful representations from positive unlabeled input data. The underlying idea is to assign each training sample an individual weight; labeled positives are given unit weight; unlabeled samples are duplicated, one copy is labeled positive and the other as negative with weights $\pi$ and $(1-\pi)$ respectively, where $\pi$ denotes the class prior. Extensive experiments across vision and natural language tasks reveal that puNCE consistently improves over existing unsupervised and supervised contrastive baselines under limited supervision.

Author Information

Anish Acharya (UT Austin)
Sujay Sanghavi (UT Austin)
Li Jing (Facebook)
Bhargav Bhushanam (Facebook)
Michael Rabbat (Facebook)
Dhruv Choudhary (Facebook Inc.)
Inderjit Dhillon (UT Austin & Amazon)

Inderjit Dhillon is the Gottesman Family Centennial Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at UT Austin, where he is also the Director of the ICES Center for Big Data Analytics. His main research interests are in big data, machine learning, network analysis, linear algebra and optimization. He received his B.Tech. degree from IIT Bombay, and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Inderjit has received several awards, including the ICES Distinguished Research Award, the SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize, the Moncrief Grand Challenge Award, the SIAM Linear Algebra Prize, the University Research Excellence Award, and the NSF Career Award. He has published over 160 journal and conference papers, and has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Machine Learning Research, the IEEE Transactions of Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Foundations and Trends in Machine Learning and the SIAM Journal for Matrix Analysis and Applications. Inderjit is an ACM Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, a SIAM Fellow and an AAAS Fellow.

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