Exploratory Machine Learning with Unknown Unknowns

5 Feb 2020  ·  Yu-Jie Zhang, Peng Zhao, Zhi-Hua Zhou ·

In conventional supervised learning, a training dataset is given with ground-truth labels from a known label set, and the learned model will classify unseen instances to the known labels. In this paper, we study a new problem setting in which there are unknown classes in the training dataset misperceived as other labels, and thus their existence appears unknown from the given supervision. We attribute the unknown unknowns to the fact that the training dataset is badly advised by the incompletely perceived label space due to the insufficient feature information. To this end, we propose the exploratory machine learning, which examines and investigates the training dataset by actively augmenting the feature space to discover potentially unknown labels. Our approach consists of three ingredients including rejection model, feature acquisition, and model cascade. The effectiveness is validated on both synthetic and real datasets.

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