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- Abstract: Active learning (AL) aims to integrate data labeling and model training in a unified way, and to minimize the labeling budget by prioritizing the selection of high value data that can best improve model performance. Readily-available unlabeled data are used to evaluate selection mechanisms, but are not used for model training in conventional pool-based AL. To minimize the labeling budget, we unify unlabeled sample selection and model training based on two principles. First, we exploit both labeled and unlabeled data using semi-supervised learning (SSL) to distill information from unlabeled data that improves representation learning and sample selection. Second, we propose a simple yet effective selection metric that is coherent with the training objective such that the selected samples are effective at improving model performance. Our experimental results demonstrate superior performance with our proposed principles for limited labeled data compared to alternative AL and SSL combinations. In addition, we study the AL phenomena of `cold start', which is becoming an increasingly more important factor to enable optimal unification of data labeling, model training and labeling budget minimization. We propose a measure that is found to be empirically correlated with the AL target loss. This measure can be used to assist in determining the proper start size.
- Keywords: Active learning, semi-supervised learning