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Achieving Minimax Rates in Pool-Based Batch Active Learning

Claudio Gentile · Zhilei Wang · Tong Zhang

Hall E #1218

Keywords: [ T: Learning Theory ] [ T: Active Learning and Interactive Learning ]


We consider a batch active learning scenario where the learner adaptively issues batches of points to a labeling oracle. Sampling labels in batches is highly desirable in practice due to the smaller number of interactive rounds with the labeling oracle (often human beings). However, batch active learning typically pays the price of a reduced adaptivity, leading to suboptimal results. In this paper we propose a solution which requires a careful trade off between the informativeness of the queried points and their diversity. We theoretically investigate batch active learning in the practically relevant scenario where the unlabeled pool of data is available beforehand ({\em pool-based} active learning). We analyze a novel stage-wise greedy algorithm and show that, as a function of the label complexity, the excess risk of this algorithm%operating in the realizable setting for which we prove matches the known minimax rates in standard statistical learning settings. Our results also exhibit a mild dependence on the batch size. These are the first theoretical results that employ careful trade offs between informativeness and diversity to rigorously quantify the statistical performance of batch active learning in the pool-based scenario.

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