Classification from Positive, Unlabeled and Biased Negative Data

Yu-Guan Hsieh, Gang Niu, Masashi Sugiyama

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Positive-unlabeled (PU) learning addresses the problem of learning a binary classifier from positive (P) and unlabeled (U) data. It is often applied to situations where negative (N) data are difficult to be fully labeled. However, collecting a non-representative N set that contains only a small portion of all possible N data can be much easier in many practical situations. This paper studies a novel classification framework which incorporates such biased N (bN) data in PU learning. The fact that the training N data are biased also makes our work very different from those of standard semi-supervised learning. We provide an empirical risk minimization-based method to address this PUbN classification problem. Our approach can be regarded as a variant of traditional example-reweighting algorithms, with the weight of each example computed through a preliminary step that draws inspiration from PU learning. We also derive an estimation error bound for the proposed method. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm in not only PUbN learning scenarios but also ordinary PU leaning scenarios on several benchmark datasets.
  • Keywords: positive-unlabeled learning, dataset shift, empirical risk minimization
  • TL;DR: This paper studied the PUbN classification problem, where we incorporate biased negative (bN) data, i.e., negative data that is not fully representative of the true underlying negative distribution, into positive-unlabeled (PU) learning.
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