Active Learning with Maximum Margin Sparse Gaussian Processes

Weishi Shi · Qi Yu

Keywords: [ Active Learning ] [ Learning Theory and Statistics ]


We present a maximum-margin sparse Gaussian Process (MM-SGP) for active learning (AL) of classification models for multi-class problems. The proposed model makes novel extensions to a GP by integrating maximum-margin constraints into its learning process, aiming to further improve its predictive power while keeping its inherent capability for uncertainty quantification. The MM constraints ensure small "effective size" of the model, which allows MM-SGP to provide good predictive performance by using limited "active" data samples, a critical property for AL. Furthermore, as a Gaussian process model, MM-SGP will output both the predicted class distribution and the predictive variance, both of which are essential for defining a sampling function effective to improve the decision boundaries of a large number of classes simultaneously. Finally, the sparse nature of MM-SGP ensures that it can be efficiently trained by solving a low-rank convex dual problem. Experiment results on both synthetic and real-world datasets show the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed AL model.

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