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  1. The past decade witnessed rapid development in the measurement and monitoring technologies for food science. Among these technologies, spectroscopy has been widely used for the analysis of food quality, safety, and nutritional properties. Due to the complexity of food systems and the lack of comprehensive predictive models, rapid and simple measurements to predict complex properties in food systems are largely missing. Machine Learning (ML) has shown great potential to improve the classification and prediction of these properties. However, the barriers to collecting large datasets for ML applications still persists. In this paper, we explore different approaches of data annotation and model training to improve data efficiency for ML applications. Specifically, we leverage Active Learning (AL) and Semi-Supervised Learning (SSL) and investigate four approaches: baseline passive learning, AL, SSL, and a hybrid of AL and SSL. To evaluate these approaches, we collect two spectroscopy datasets: predicting plasma dosage and detecting foodborne pathogen. Our experimental results show that, compared to the de facto passive learning approach, advanced approaches (AL, SSL, and the hybrid) can greatly reduce the number of labeled samples, with some cases decreasing the number of labeled samples by more than half. 
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  2. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome is an infectious disease of pigs caused by PRRS virus (PRRSV). A modified live-attenuated vaccine has been widely used to control the spread of PRRSV and the classification of field strains is a key for a successful control and prevention. Restriction fragment length polymorphism targeting the Open reading frame 5 (ORF5) genes is widely used to classify PRRSV strains but showed unstable accuracy. Phylogenetic analysis is a powerful tool for PRRSV classification with consistent accuracy but it demands large computational power as the number of sequences gets increased. Our study aimed to apply four machine learning (ML) algorithms, random forest, k-nearest neighbor, support vector machine and multilayer perceptron, to classify field PRRSV strains into four clades using amino acid scores based on ORF5 gene sequence. Our study used amino acid sequences of ORF5 gene in 1931 field PRRSV strains collected in the US from 2012 to 2020. Phylogenetic analysis was used to labels field PRRSV strains into one of four clades: Lineage 5 or three clades in Linage 1. We measured accuracy and time consumption of classification using four ML approaches by different size of gene sequences. We found that all four ML algorithms classify a large number of field strains in a very short time (<2.5 s) with very high accuracy (>0.99 Area under curve of the Receiver of operating characteristics curve). Furthermore, the random forest approach detects a total of 4 key amino acid positions for the classification of field PRRSV strains into four clades. Our finding will provide an insightful idea to develop a rapid and accurate classification model using genetic information, which also enables us to handle large genome datasets in real time or semi-real time for data-driven decision-making and more timely surveillance. 
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