A Simple Yet Powerful Deep Active Learning With Snapshots EnsemblesDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 01 Mar 2023ICLR 2023 posterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Active learning, Snapshot ensemble, Uncertainty estimation
Abstract: Given an unlabeled pool of data and the experts who can label them, active learning aims to build an agent that can effectively acquire data to be queried to the experts, maximizing the gain in performance when trained with them. While there are several principles for active learning, a prevailing approach is to estimate uncertainties of predictions for unlabeled samples and use them to define acquisition functions. Active learning with the uncertainty principle works well for deep learning, especially for large-scale image classification tasks with deep neural networks. Still, it is often overlooked how the uncertainty of predictions is estimated, despite the common findings on the difficulty of accurately estimating uncertainties of deep neural networks. In this paper, we highlight the effectiveness of snapshot ensembles for deep active learning. Compared to the previous approaches based on Monte-Carlo dropout or deep ensembles, we show that a simple acquisition strategy based on uncertainties estimated from parameter snapshots gathered from a single optimization path significantly improves the quality of the acquired samples. Based on this observation, we further propose an efficient active learning algorithm that maintains a single learning trajectory throughout the entire active learning episodes, unlike the existing algorithms training models from scratch for every active learning episode. Through the extensive empirical comparison, we demonstrate the effectiveness of snapshot ensembles for deep active learning.
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