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Workshop: ICML Workshop on Human in the Loop Learning (HILL)

A Simple Baseline for Batch Active Learning with Stochastic Acquisition Functions

Andreas Kirsch · Sebastian Farquhar · Yarin Gal


In active learning, new labels are commonly acquired in batches. However, common acquisition functions are only meant for one-sample acquisition rounds at a time, and when their scores are used naively for batch acquisition, they result in batches lacking diversity, which deteriorates performance. On the other hand, state-of-the-art batch acquisition functions are costly to compute. In this paper, we present a novel class of stochastic acquisition functions that extend one-sample acquisition functions to the batch setting by observing how one-sample acquisition scores change as additional samples are acquired and modelling this difference for additional batch samples. We simply acquire new samples by sampling from the pool set using a Gibbs distribution based on the acquisition scores. Our acquisition functions are both vastly cheaper to compute and out-perform other batch acquisition functions.

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