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Discover-Then-Rank Unlabeled Support Vectors in the Dual Space for Multi-Class Active Learning

Dayou Yu · Weishi Shi · Qi Yu

Exhibit Hall 1 #514
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We propose to approach active learning (AL) from a novel perspective of discovering and then ranking potential support vectors by leveraging the key properties of the dual space of a sparse kernel max-margin predictor. We theoretically analyze the change of a hinge loss in the dual form and provide both the upper and lower bounds that are deeply connected to the key geometric properties induced by the dual space, which then help us identify various types of important data samples for AL. These bounds inform the design of a novel sampling strategy that leverages class-wise evidence as a key vehicle, formed through an affine combination of dual variables and kernel evaluation. We construct two distinct types of sampling functions, including discovery and ranking. The former focuses on samples with low total evidence from all classes, which signifies their potential to support exploration; the latter exploits the current decision boundary to identify the most conflicting regions for sampling, aiming to further refine the decision boundary. These two functions, which are complementary to each other, are automatically arranged into a two-phase active sampling process that starts with the discovery and then transitions to the ranking of data points to most effectively balance exploration and exploitation. Experiments on various real-world data demonstrate the state-of-the-art AL performance achieved by our model.

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