Unsupervised Learning 5

Moderator: Marija Stanojevic


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Thu 22 July 19:00 - 19:20 PDT

Crowdsourcing via Annotator Co-occurrence Imputation and Provable Symmetric Nonnegative Matrix Factorization

Shahana Ibrahim · Xiao Fu

Unsupervised learning of the Dawid-Skene (D&S) model from noisy, incomplete and crowdsourced annotations has been a long-standing challenge, and is a critical step towards reliably labeling massive data. A recent work takes a coupled nonnegative matrix factorization (CNMF) perspective, and shows appealing features: It ensures the identifiability of the D\&S model and enjoys low sample complexity, as only the estimates of the co-occurrences of annotator labels are involved. However, the identifiability holds only when certain somewhat restrictive conditions are met in the context of crowdsourcing. Optimizing the CNMF criterion is also costly---and convergence assurances are elusive. This work recasts the pairwise co-occurrence based D&S model learning problem as a symmetric NMF (SymNMF) problem---which offers enhanced identifiability relative to CNMF. In practice, the SymNMF model is often (largely) incomplete, due to the lack of co-labeled items by some annotators. Two lightweight algorithms are proposed for co-occurrence imputation. Then, a low-complexity shifted rectified linear unit (ReLU)-empowered SymNMF algorithm is proposed to identify the D&S model. Various performance characterizations (e.g., missing co-occurrence recoverability, stability, and convergence) and evaluations are also presented.

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Thu 22 July 19:20 - 19:25 PDT

Message Passing Adaptive Resonance Theory for Online Active Semi-supervised Learning

Taehyeong Kim · Injune Hwang · Hyundo Lee · Hyunseo Kim · Won-Seok Choi · Joseph Lim · Byoung-Tak Zhang

Active learning is widely used to reduce labeling effort and training time by repeatedly querying only the most beneficial samples from unlabeled data. In real-world problems where data cannot be stored indefinitely due to limited storage or privacy issues, the query selection and the model update should be performed as soon as a new data sample is observed. Various online active learning methods have been studied to deal with these challenges; however, there are difficulties in selecting representative query samples and updating the model efficiently without forgetting. In this study, we propose Message Passing Adaptive Resonance Theory (MPART) that learns the distribution and topology of input data online. Through message passing on the topological graph, MPART actively queries informative and representative samples, and continuously improves the classification performance using both labeled and unlabeled data. We evaluate our model in stream-based selective sampling scenarios with comparable query selection strategies, showing that MPART significantly outperforms competitive models.

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Thu 22 July 19:25 - 19:30 PDT

Object Segmentation Without Labels with Large-Scale Generative Models

Andrey Voynov · Stanislav Morozov · Artem Babenko

The recent rise of unsupervised and self-supervised learning has dramatically reduced the dependency on labeled data, providing high-quality representations for transfer on downstream tasks. Furthermore, recent works also employed these representations in a fully unsupervised setup for image classification, reducing the need for human labels on the fine-tuning stage as well. This work demonstrates that large-scale unsupervised models can also perform a more challenging object segmentation task, requiring neither pixel-level nor image-level labeling. Namely, we show that recent unsupervised GANs allow to differentiate between foreground/background pixels, providing high-quality saliency masks. By extensive comparison on common benchmarks, we outperform existing unsupervised alternatives for object segmentation, achieving new state-of-the-art.

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Thu 22 July 19:30 - 19:35 PDT

SinIR: Efficient General Image Manipulation with Single Image Reconstruction

Jihyeong Yoo · Qifeng Chen

We propose SinIR, an efficient reconstruction-based framework trained on a single natural image for general image manipulation, including super-resolution, editing, harmonization, paint-to-image, photo-realistic style transfer, and artistic style transfer. We train our model on a single image with cascaded multi-scale learning, where each network at each scale is responsible for image reconstruction. This reconstruction objective greatly reduces the complexity and running time of training, compared to the GAN objective. However, the reconstruction objective also exacerbates the output quality. Therefore, to solve this problem, we further utilize simple random pixel shuffling, which also gives control over manipulation, inspired by the Denoising Autoencoder. With quantitative evaluation, we show that SinIR has competitive performance on various image manipulation tasks. Moreover, with a much simpler training objective (i.e., reconstruction), SinIR is trained 33.5 times faster than SinGAN (for 500x500 images) that solves similar tasks. Our code is publicly available at

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Thu 22 July 19:35 - 19:40 PDT

GBHT: Gradient Boosting Histogram Transform for Density Estimation

Jingyi Cui · Hanyuan Hang · Yisen Wang · Zhouchen Lin

In this paper, we propose a density estimation algorithm called \textit{Gradient Boosting Histogram Transform} (GBHT), where we adopt the \textit{Negative Log Likelihood} as the loss function to make the boosting procedure available for the unsupervised tasks. From a learning theory viewpoint, we first prove fast convergence rates for GBHT with the smoothness assumption that the underlying density function lies in the space $C^{0,\alpha}$. Then when the target density function lies in spaces $C^{1,\alpha}$, we present an upper bound for GBHT which is smaller than the lower bound of its corresponding base learner, in the sense of convergence rates. To the best of our knowledge, we make the first attempt to theoretically explain why boosting can enhance the performance of its base learners for density estimation problems. In experiments, we not only conduct performance comparisons with the widely used KDE, but also apply GBHT to anomaly detection to showcase a further application of GBHT.

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Thu 22 July 19:40 - 19:45 PDT

Hierarchical Agglomerative Graph Clustering in Nearly-Linear Time

Laxman Dhulipala · David Eisenstat · Jakub Łącki · Vahab Mirrokni · Jessica Shi

We study the widely-used hierarchical agglomerative clustering (HAC) algorithm on edge-weighted graphs. We define an algorithmic framework for hierarchical agglomerative graph clustering that provides the first efficient $\tilde{O}(m)$ time exact algorithms for classic linkage measures, such as complete- and WPGMA-linkage, as well as other measures. Furthermore, for average-linkage, arguably the most popular variant of HAC, we provide an algorithm that runs in $\tilde{O}(n\sqrt{m})$ time. For this variant, this is the first exact algorithm that runs in subquadratic time, as long as $m=n^{2-\epsilon}$ for some constant $\epsilon > 0$. We complement this result with a simple $\epsilon$-close approximation algorithm for average-linkage in our framework that runs in $\tilde{O}(m)$ time. As an application of our algorithms, we consider clustering points in a metric space by first using $k$-NN to generate a graph from the point set, and then running our algorithms on the resulting weighted graph. We validate the performance of our algorithms on publicly available datasets, and show that our approach can speed up clustering of point datasets by a factor of 20.7--76.5x.

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Thu 22 July 19:45 - 19:50 PDT

Improving Ultrametrics Embeddings Through Coresets

Vincent Cohen-Addad · Rémi de Joannis de Verclos · Guillaume Lagarde

To tackle the curse of dimensionality in data analysis and unsupervised learning, it is critical to be able to efficiently compute ``simple'' faithful representations of the data that helps extract information, improves understanding and visualization of the structure. When the dataset consists of $d$-dimensional vectors, simple representations of the data may consist in trees or ultrametrics, and the goal is to best preserve the distances (i.e.: dissimilarity values) between data elements. To circumvent the quadratic running times of the most popular methods for fitting ultrametrics, such as average, single, or complete linkage,~\citet{CKL20} recently presented a new algorithm that for any $c \ge 1$, outputs in time $n^{1+O(1/c^2)}$ an ultrametric $\Delta$ such that for any two points $u, v$, $\Delta(u, v)$ is within a multiplicative factor of $5c$ to the distance between $u$ and $v$ in the ``best'' ultrametric representation. We improve the above result and show how to improve the above guarantee from $5c$ to $\sqrt{2}c + \varepsilon$ while achieving the same asymptotic running time. To complement the improved theoretical bound, we additionally show that the performances of our algorithm are significantly better for various real-world datasets.

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Thu 22 July 19:50 - 19:55 PDT