Open-world Machine Learning: A Review and New Outlooks

4 Mar 2024  ·  Fei Zhu, Shijie Ma, Zhen Cheng, Xu-Yao Zhang, Zhaoxiang Zhang, Cheng-Lin Liu ·

Machine learning has achieved remarkable success in many applications. However, existing studies are largely based on the closed-world assumption, which assumes that the environment is stationary, and the model is fixed once deployed. In many real-world applications, this fundamental and rather naive assumption may not hold because an open environment is complex, dynamic, and full of unknowns. In such cases, rejecting unknowns, discovering novelties, and then incrementally learning them, could enable models to be safe and evolve continually as biological systems do. This paper provides a holistic view of open-world machine learning by investigating unknown rejection, novel class discovery, and class-incremental learning in a unified paradigm. The challenges, principles, and limitations of current methodologies are discussed in detail. Finally, we discuss several potential directions for future research. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the emerging open-world machine learning paradigm, to help researchers build more powerful AI systems in their respective fields, and to promote the development of artificial general intelligence.

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