What is Active Learning in Machine Learning?

2 minute read

In semi-supervised machine learning, active learning actively identifies high-value points of information in unlabeled data sets, which speeds up algorithm training. 

Since developing NLP models involves training datasets which have been carefully tagged to signify sections of speech, named entities, etc., active learning has proven particularly helpful for NLP. It can be difficult to find datasets with this labelling and enough distinct data points.

Diagnostic imaging and other situations where there is a restricted quantity of data that a human annotation can label in order to help the algorithm have benefited from the use of active learning. The model must constantly modify and retrain itself based on incremental labelling updates, therefore it can occasionally be a sluggish process, but it can still save time when compared to more conventional data collection techniques.

How Is Active Learning Used?

Multiple circumstances call for the use of active learning. Essentially, the choice of deciding whether or not to inquire about each individual label is contingent upon whether the benefit of doing so outweighs the expense of doing so. Given the data scientist’s budgetary constraints and other considerations, this decision-making can actually take a few distinct shapes in practice.

The following are the three types of active learning:

Stream-based selective sampling

In this case, the algorithm decides whether it would be worthwhile to query the dataset for the description of a particular unlabeled entry. The model decides whether to inquire about the label as soon as it is supplied given a data instance during training. The lack of assurance that the data scientist would stay within budget presents a natural drawback to this strategy. 

Also Read: What is Deep Learning?

Pool-based sampling

The most well-known case study for active learning is this one. The algorithm in this sampling technique makes an effort to assess the complete dataset before choosing the most effective query or group of questions. A completely labelled portion of the data is frequently utilised to train the active learner algorithm, which is then used to decide which examples would be most useful to add to the training set for the subsequent active learning loop. The method’s drawback is the potential memory requirements.

Membership query synthesis

Due to the creation of artificial data, this situation is not applicable in all situations. In this approach, the active learner is free to develop their own instances for labelling. This approach works with issues where producing a data instance is simple.

Also Read: What is Machine Learning?

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