Learning from Similarity-Confidence Data

Yuzhou Cao · Lei Feng · Yitian Xu · Bo An · Gang Niu · Masashi Sugiyama

Keywords: [ Algorithms ] [ Semi-supervised learning ]


Weakly supervised learning has drawn considerable attention recently to reduce the expensive time and labor consumption of labeling massive data. In this paper, we investigate a novel weakly supervised learning problem of learning from similarity-confidence (Sconf) data, where only unlabeled data pairs equipped with confidence that illustrates their degree of similarity (two examples are similar if they belong to the same class) are needed for training a discriminative binary classifier. We propose an unbiased estimator of the classification risk that can be calculated from only Sconf data and show that the estimation error bound achieves the optimal convergence rate. To alleviate potential overfitting when flexible models are used, we further employ a risk correction scheme on the proposed risk estimator. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods.

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