One-Round Active Learning through Data Utility Learning and Proxy Models

Published: 13 Nov 2023, Last Modified: 13 Nov 2023Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: While active learning (AL) techniques have demonstrated the potential to produce high-performance models with fewer labeled data, their application remains limited due to the necessity for multiple rounds of interaction with annotators. This paper studies the problem of one-round AL, which aims at selecting a subset of unlabeled points and querying their labels \emph{all at once}. A fundamental challenge is how to measure the utility of different choices of labeling queries for learning a target model. Our key idea is to learn such a utility metric from a small initial labeled set. We demonstrate that our approach leads to state-of-the-art performance on various AL benchmarks and is more robust to the lack of initial labeled data. In addition to algorithmic development and evaluation, we introduce a novel metric for quantifying `\emph{utility transferability}' -- the degree of correlation between the performance changes of two learning algorithms due to variations in training data selection. Previous studies have often observed a notable utility transferability between models, even those with differing complexities. Such transferability enabled our approach, as well as other techniques such as coresets, hyperparameter tuning, and data valuation, to scale up to more sophisticated target models by substituting them with smaller proxy models. Nevertheless, utility transferability has not yet been rigorously defined within a formal mathematical framework, a gap that our work addresses innovatively. We further propose two Monte Carlo-based methods for efficiently comparing utility transferability for different proxy models, thereby facilitating a more informed selection of proxy models.
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Matthew_J._Holland1
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Submission Number: 1383