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Supervised Learning vs Unsupervised Learning


Supervised learning involves learning a function that maps an input to an output based on example input-output pairs. Unlike supervised learning, unsupervised learning is used to draw inferences and find patterns from input data without references to labeled outcomes. In classification models, the output is discrete. Unlike supervised learning, unsupervised learning is used to draw inferences and find patterns from input data without references to labeled outcomes. Clustering is an unsupervised technique that involves the grouping, or clustering, of data points.

International Workshop on Continual Semi-Supervised Learning: Introduction, Benchmarks and Baselines Artificial Intelligence

The aim of this paper is to formalize a new continual semi-supervised learning (CSSL) paradigm, proposed to the attention of the machine learning community via the IJCAI 2021 International Workshop on Continual Semi-Supervised Learning (CSSL-IJCAI), with the aim of raising field awareness about this problem and mobilizing its effort in this direction. After a formal definition of continual semi-supervised learning and the appropriate training and testing protocols, the paper introduces two new benchmarks specifically designed to assess CSSL on two important computer vision tasks: activity recognition and crowd counting. We describe the Continual Activity Recognition (CAR) and Continual Crowd Counting (CCC) challenges built upon those benchmarks, the baseline models proposed for the challenges, and describe a simple CSSL baseline which consists in applying batch self-training in temporal sessions, for a limited number of rounds. The results show that learning from unlabelled data streams is extremely challenging, and stimulate the search for methods that can encode the dynamics of the data stream.

Model-Change Active Learning in Graph-Based Semi-Supervised Learning Machine Learning

Active learning in semi-supervised classification involves introducing additional labels for unlabelled data to improve the accuracy of the underlying classifier. A challenge is to identify which points to label to best improve performance while limiting the number of new labels. "Model-change" active learning quantifies the resulting change incurred in the classifier by introducing the additional label(s). We pair this idea with graph-based semi-supervised learning methods, that use the spectrum of the graph Laplacian matrix, which can be truncated to avoid prohibitively large computational and storage costs. We consider a family of convex loss functions for which the acquisition function can be efficiently approximated using the Laplace approximation of the posterior distribution. We show a variety of multiclass examples that illustrate improved performance over prior state-of-art.

The Rich Get Richer: Disparate Impact of Semi-Supervised Learning Machine Learning

Semi-supervised learning (SSL) has demonstrated its potential to improve the model accuracy for a variety of learning tasks when the high-quality supervised data is severely limited. Although it is often established that the average accuracy for the entire population of data is improved, it is unclear how SSL fares with different sub-populations. Understanding the above question has substantial fairness implications when these different sub-populations are defined by the demographic groups we aim to treat fairly. In this paper, we reveal the disparate impacts of deploying SSL: the sub-population who has a higher baseline accuracy without using SSL (the ``rich" sub-population) tends to benefit more from SSL; while the sub-population who suffers from a low baseline accuracy (the ``poor" sub-population) might even observe a performance drop after adding the SSL module. We theoretically and empirically establish the above observation for a broad family of SSL algorithms, which either explicitly or implicitly use an auxiliary ``pseudo-label". Our experiments on a set of image and text classification tasks confirm our claims. We discuss how this disparate impact can be mitigated and hope that our paper will alarm the potential pitfall of using SSL and encourage a multifaceted evaluation of future SSL algorithms. Code is available at

Automated Feature-Specific Tree Species Identification from Natural Images using Deep Semi-Supervised Learning Machine Learning

Prior work on plant species classification predominantly focuses on building models from isolated plant attributes. Hence, there is a need for tools that can assist in species identification in the natural world. We present a novel and robust two-fold approach capable of identifying trees in a real-world natural setting. Further, we leverage unlabelled data through deep semi-supervised learning and demonstrate superior performance to supervised learning. Our single-GPU implementation for feature recognition uses minimal annotated data and achieves accuracies of 93.96% and 93.11% for leaves and bark, respectively. Further, we extract feature-specific datasets of 50 species by employing this technique. Finally, our semi-supervised species classification method attains 94.04% top-5 accuracy for leaves and 83.04% top-5 accuracy for bark.

Hypernetworks for Continual Semi-Supervised Learning Machine Learning

Learning from data sequentially arriving, possibly in a non i.i.d. way, with changing task distribution over time is called continual learning. Much of the work thus far in continual learning focuses on supervised learning and some recent works on unsupervised learning. In many domains, each task contains a mix of labelled (typically very few) and unlabelled (typically plenty) training examples, which necessitates a semi-supervised learning approach. To address this in a continual learning setting, we propose a framework for semi-supervised continual learning called Meta-Consolidation for Continual Semi-Supervised Learning (MCSSL). Our framework has a hypernetwork that learns the meta-distribution that generates the weights of a semi-supervised auxiliary classifier generative adversarial network $(\textit{Semi-ACGAN})$ as the base network. We consolidate the knowledge of sequential tasks in the hypernetwork, and the base network learns the semi-supervised learning task. Further, we present $\textit{Semi-Split CIFAR-10}$, a new benchmark for continual semi-supervised learning, obtained by modifying the $\textit{Split CIFAR-10}$ dataset, in which the tasks with labelled and unlabelled data arrive sequentially. Our proposed model yields significant improvements in the continual semi-supervised learning setting. We compare the performance of several existing continual learning approaches on the proposed continual semi-supervised learning benchmark of the Semi-Split CIFAR-10 dataset.

Semi-supervised learning made simple


Semi-supervised learning is a machine learning technique of deriving useful information from both labelled and unlabelled data. Before doing this tutorial, you should have basic familiarity with supervised learning on images with PyTorch. We will omit reinforcement learning here and concentrate on the first two types. In supervised learning, our data consists of labelled objects. A machine learning model is tasked with learning how to assign labels (or values) to objects.

Lexico-semantic and affective modelling of Spanish poetry: A semi-supervised learning approach Artificial Intelligence

Text classification tasks have improved substantially during the last years by the usage of transformers. However, the majority of researches focus on prose texts, with poetry receiving less attention, specially for Spanish language. In this paper, we propose a semi-supervised learning approach for inferring 21 psychological categories evoked by a corpus of 4572 sonnets, along with 10 affective and lexico-semantic multiclass ones. The subset of poems used for training an evaluation includes 270 sonnets. With our approach, we achieve an AUC beyond 0.7 for 76% of the psychological categories, and an AUC over 0.65 for 60% on the multiclass ones. The sonnets are modelled using transformers, through sentence embeddings, along with lexico-semantic and affective features, obtained by using external lexicons. Consequently, we see that this approach provides an AUC increase of up to 0.12, as opposed to using transformers alone.

Dash: Semi-Supervised Learning with Dynamic Thresholding Machine Learning

While semi-supervised learning (SSL) has received tremendous attentions in many machine learning tasks due to its successful use of unlabeled data, existing SSL algorithms use either all unlabeled examples or the unlabeled examples with a fixed high-confidence prediction during the training progress. However, it is possible that too many correct/wrong pseudo labeled examples are eliminated/selected. In this work we develop a simple yet powerful framework, whose key idea is to select a subset of training examples from the unlabeled data when performing existing SSL methods so that only the unlabeled examples with pseudo labels related to the labeled data will be used to train models. The selection is performed at each updating iteration by only keeping the examples whose losses are smaller than a given threshold that is dynamically adjusted through the iteration. Our proposed approach, Dash, enjoys its adaptivity in terms of unlabeled data selection and its theoretical guarantee. Specifically, we theoretically establish the convergence rate of Dash from the view of non-convex optimization. Finally, we empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in comparison with state-of-the-art over benchmarks.

Flood Segmentation on Sentinel-1 SAR Imagery with Semi-Supervised Learning Artificial Intelligence

Floods wreak havoc throughout the world, causing billions of dollars in damages, and uprooting communities, ecosystems and economies. Accurate and robust flood detection including delineating open water flood areas and identifying flood levels can aid in disaster response and mitigation. However, estimating flood levels remotely is of essence as physical access to flooded areas is limited and the ability to deploy instruments in potential flood zones can be dangerous. Aligning flood extent mapping with local topography can provide a plan-of-action that the disaster response team can consider. Thus, remote flood level estimation via satellites like Sentinel-1 can prove to be remedial. The Emerging Techniques in Computational Intelligence (ETCI) competition on Flood Detection tasked participants with predicting flooded pixels after training with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images in a supervised setting. We use a cyclical approach involving two stages (1) training an ensemble model of multiple UNet architectures with available high and low confidence labeled data and, generating pseudo labels or low confidence labels on the entire unlabeled test dataset, and then, (2) filter out quality generated labels and, (3) combining the generated labels with the previously available high confidence labeled dataset. This assimilated dataset is used for the next round of training ensemble models. This cyclical process is repeated until the performance improvement plateaus. Additionally, we post process our results with Conditional Random Fields. Our approach sets the second highest score on the public hold-out test leaderboard for the ETCI competition with 0.7654 IoU. To the best of our knowledge we believe this is one of the first works to try out semi-supervised learning to improve flood segmentation models.