Keywords: imbalanced semi-supervised learning, energy-based model
TL;DR: A novel pseudo-labeling approach that views pseudo-labeling as an evolving "in-distribution vs out-of-distribution" classification problem for imbalanced semi-supervised learning
Abstract: Recent state-of-the-art methods in imbalanced semi-supervised learning (SSL) rely on confidence-based pseudo-labeling with consistency regularization. To obtain high-quality pseudo-labels, a high confidence threshold is typically adopted. However, it has been shown that softmax-based confidence scores in deep networks can be arbitrarily high for samples far from the training data, and thus, the pseudo-labels for even high-confidence unlabeled samples may still be unreliable. In this work, we present a new perspective of pseudo-labeling for imbalanced SSL. Without relying on model confidence, we propose to measure whether an unlabeled sample is likely to be "in-distribution''; i.e., close to the current training data. To decide whether an unlabeled sample is "in-distribution'' or "out-of-distribution'', we adopt the energy score from out-of-distribution detection literature. As training progresses and more unlabeled samples become in-distribution and contribute to training, the combined labeled and pseudo-labeled data can better approximate the true class distribution to improve the model. Experiments demonstrate that our energy-based pseudo-labeling method, InPL, albeit conceptually simple, significantly outperforms confidence-based methods on imbalanced SSL benchmarks. For example, it produces a 4-6% absolute accuracy improvement on CIFAR10-LT when the imbalance ratio is higher than 50. When combined with state-of-the-art long-tailed SSL methods, further improvements are attained. In particular, in one of the most challenging scenarios, InPL achieves a 6.9% accuracy improvement over the best competitor.
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