Can we learn a binary classifier from only positive data, without any negative data or unlabeled data? We show that if one can equip positive data with confidence (positive-confidence), one can successfully learn a binary classifier, which we name positive-confidence (Pconf) classification. Our work is related to one-class classification which is aimed at "describing" the positive class by clustering-related methods, but one-class classification does not have the ability to tune hyper-parameters and their aim is not on "discriminating" positive and negative classes. For the Pconf classification problem, we provide a simple empirical risk minimization framework that is model-independent and optimization-independent. We theoretically establish the consistency and an estimation error bound, and demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed method for training deep neural networks through experiments.
We consider the problem of binary classification when the covariates conditioned on the each of the response values follow multivariate Gaussian distributions. We focus on the setting where the covariance matrices for the two conditional distributions are the same. The corresponding generative model classifier, derived via the Bayes rule, also called Linear Discriminant Analysis, has been shown to behave poorly in high-dimensional settings. We present a novel analysis of the classification error of any linear discriminant approach given conditional Gaussian models. This allows us to compare the generative model classifier, other recently proposed discriminative approaches that directly learn the discriminant function, and then finally logistic regression which is another classical discriminative model classifier.
Deep generative models (DGMs) of images are now sufficiently mature that they produce nearly photorealistic samples and obtain scores similar to the data distribution on heuristics such as Frechet Inception Distance (FID). These results, especially on large-scale datasets such as ImageNet, suggest that DGMs are learning the data distribution in a perceptually meaningful space and can be used in downstream tasks. To test this latter hypothesis, we use class-conditional generative models from a number of model classes--variational autoencoders, autoregressive models, and generative adversarial networks (GANs)--to infer the class labels of real data. We perform this inference by training an image classifier using only synthetic data and using the classifier to predict labels on real data. The performance on this task, which we call Classification Accuracy Score (CAS), reveals some surprising results not identified by traditional metrics and constitute our contributions.
The ever-increasing size of modern data sets combined with the difficulty of obtaining label information has made semi-supervised learning one of the problems of significant practical importance in modern data analysis. We revisit the approach to semi-supervised learning with generative models and develop new models that allow for effective generalisation from small labelled data sets to large unlabelled ones. Generative approaches have thus far been either inflexible, inefficient or non-scalable. We show that deep generative models and approximate Bayesian inference exploiting recent advances in variational methods can be used to provide significant improvements, making generative approaches highly competitive for semi-supervised learning.