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Fix-A-Step: Semi-supervised Learning From Uncurated Unlabeled Data

Zhe Huang · Mary-Joy Sidhom · Benjamin Wessler · Michael C. Hughes

Auditorium 1 Foyer 61


Semi-supervised learning (SSL) promises improved accuracy compared to training classifiers on small labeled datasets by also training on many unlabeled images. In real applications like medical imaging, unlabeled data will be collected for expediency and thus uncurated: possibly different from the labeled set in classes or features. Unfortunately, modern deep SSL often makes accuracy worse when given uncurated unlabeled data. Recent complex remedies try to detect out-of-distribution unlabeled images and then discard or downweight them. Instead, we introduce Fix-A-Step, a simpler procedure that views all uncurated unlabeled images as potentially helpful. Our first insight is that even uncurated images can yield useful augmentations of labeled data. Second, we modify gradient descent updates to prevent optimizing a multi-task SSL loss from hurting labeled-set accuracy. Fix-A-Step can "repair" many common deep SSL methods, improving accuracy on CIFAR benchmarks across all tested methods and levels of artificial class mismatch. On a new medical SSL benchmark called Heart2Heart, Fix-A-Step can learn from 353,500 truly uncurated ultrasound images to deliver gains that generalize across hospitals.

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