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  1. Meila, Marina ; Zhang, Tong (Ed.)
    The label noise transition matrix, characterizing the probabilities of a training instance being wrongly annotated, is crucial to designing popular solutions to learning with noisy labels. Existing works heavily rely on finding “anchor points” or their approximates, defined as instances belonging to a particular class almost surely. Nonetheless, finding anchor points remains a non-trivial task, and the estimation accuracy is also often throttled by the number of available anchor points. In this paper, we propose an alternative option to the above task. Our main contribution is the discovery of an efficient estimation procedure based on a clusterability condition. We prove that with clusterable representations of features, using up to third-order consensuses of noisy labels among neighbor representations is sufficient to estimate a unique transition matrix. Compared with methods using anchor points, our approach uses substantially more instances and benefits from a much better sample complexity. We demonstrate the estimation accuracy and advantages of our estimates using both synthetic noisy labels (on CIFAR-10/100) and real human-level noisy labels (on Clothing1M and our self-collected human-annotated CIFAR-10). Our code and human-level noisy CIFAR-10 labels are available at https://github.com/UCSC-REAL/HOC.
  2. Human-annotated labels are often prone to noise, and the presence of such noise will degrade the performance of the resulting deep neural network (DNN) models. Much of the literature (with several recent exceptions) of learning with noisy labels focuses on the case when the label noise is independent of features. Practically, annotations errors tend to be instance-dependent and often depend on the difficulty levels of recognizing a certain task. Applying existing results from instance-independent settings would require a significant amount of estimation of noise rates. Therefore, providing theoretically rigorous solutions for learning with instance-dependent label noise remains a challenge. In this paper, we propose CORES (COnfidence REgularized Sample Sieve), which progressively sieves out corrupted examples. The implementation of CORES does not require specifying noise rates and yet we are able to provide theoretical guarantees of CORES in filtering out the corrupted examples. This high-quality sample sieve allows us to treat clean examples and the corrupted ones separately in training a DNN solution, and such a separation is shown to be advantageous in the instance-dependent noise setting. We demonstrate the performance of CORES^2 on CIFAR10 and CIFAR100 datasets with synthetic instance-dependent label noise and Clothing1M with real-world human noise. As ofmore »independent interests, our sample sieve provides a generic machinery for anatomizing noisy datasets and provides a flexible interface for various robust training techniques to further improve the performance. Code is available at https://github.com/UCSC-REAL/cores.« less
  3. In this paper, we study Federated Bandit, a decentralized Multi-Armed Bandit problem with a set of N agents, who can only communicate their local data with neighbors described by a connected graph G. Each agent makes a sequence of decisions on selecting an arm from M candidates, yet they only have access to local and potentially biased feedback/evaluation of the true reward for each action taken. Learning only locally will lead agents to sub-optimal actions while converging to a no-regret strategy requires a collection of distributed data. Motivated by the proposal of federated learning, we aim for a solution with which agents will never share their local observations with a central entity, and will be allowed to only share a private copy of his/her own information with their neighbors. We first propose a decentralized bandit algorithm \textttGossip\_UCB, which is a coupling of variants of both the classical gossiping algorithm and the celebrated Upper Confidence Bound (UCB) bandit algorithm. We show that \textttGossip\_UCB successfully adapts local bandit learning into a global gossiping process for sharing information among connected agents, and achieves guaranteed regret at the order of O(\max\ \textttpoly (N,M) łog T, \textttpoly (N,M)łog_łambda_2^-1 N\ ) for all N agents, wheremore »łambda_2\in(0,1) is the second largest eigenvalue of the expected gossip matrix, which is a function of G. We then propose \textttFed\_UCB, a differentially private version of \textttGossip\_UCB, in which the agents preserve ε-differential privacy of their local data while achieving O(\max \\frac\textttpoly (N,M) ε łog^2.5 T, \textttpoly (N,M) (łog_łambda_2^-1 N + łog T) \ ) regret.« less
  4. We show when maximizing a properly defined -divergence measure with respect to a classifier's predictions and the supervised labels is robust with label noise. Leveraging its variational form, we derive a nice decoupling property for a family of -divergence measures when label noise presents, where the divergence is shown to be a linear combination of the variational difference defined on the clean distribution and a bias term introduced due to the noise. The above derivation helps us analyze the robustness of different -divergence functions. With established robustness, this family of -divergence functions arises as useful metrics for the problem of learning with noisy labels, which do not require the specification of the labels' noise rate. When they are possibly not robust, we propose fixes to make them so. In addition to the analytical results, we present thorough experimental evidence. Our code is available at https://github.com/UCSC-REAL/Robust-f-divergence-measures.
  5. It is important to collect credible training samples $(x,y)$ for building data-intensive learning systems (e.g., a deep learning system). Asking people to report complex distribution $p(x)$, though theoretically viable, is challenging in practice. This is primarily due to the cognitive loads required for human agents to form the report of this highly complicated information. While classical elicitation mechanisms apply to eliciting a complex and generative (and continuous) distribution $p(x)$, we are interested in eliciting samples $x_i \sim p(x)$ from agents directly. We coin the above problem sample elicitation. This paper introduces a deep learning aided method to incentivize credible sample contributions from self-interested and rational agents. We show that with an accurate estimation of a certain $f$-divergence function we can achieve approximate incentive compatibility in eliciting truthful samples. We then present an efficient estimator with theoretical guarantees via studying the variational forms of the $f$-divergence function. We also show a connection between this sample elicitation problem and $f$-GAN, and how this connection can help reconstruct an estimator of the distribution based on collected samples. Experiments on synthetic data, MNIST, and CIFAR-10 datasets demonstrate that our mechanism elicits truthful samples. Our implementation is available at https://github.com/weijiaheng/Credible-sample-elicitation.git.
  6. This paper aims to provide understandings for the effect of an over-parameterized model, e.g. a deep neural network, memorizing instance-dependent noisy labels. We first quantify the harms caused by memorizing noisy instances, and show the disparate impacts of noisy labels for sample instances with different representation frequencies. We then analyze how several popular solutions for learning with noisy labels mitigate this harm at the instance level. Our analysis reveals that existing approaches lead to disparate treatments when handling noisy instances. While higher-frequency instances often enjoy a high probability of an improvement by applying these solutions, lower-frequency instances do not. Our analysis reveals new understandings for when these approaches work, and provides theoretical justifications for previously reported empirical observations. This observation requires us to rethink the distribution of label noise across instances and calls for different treatments for instances in different regimes.
  7. The presence of label noise often misleads the training of deep neural networks. Departing from the recent literature which largely assumes the label noise rate is only determined by the true label class, the errors in human-annotated labels are more likely to be dependent on the difficulty levels of tasks, resulting in settings with instance-dependent label noise. We first provide evidences that the heterogeneous instance-dependent label noise is effectively down-weighting the examples with higher noise rates in a non-uniform way and thus causes imbalances, rendering the strategy of directly applying methods for class-dependent label noise questionable. Built on a recent work peer loss [24], we then propose and study the potentials of a second-order approach that leverages the estimation of several covariance terms defined between the instance-dependent noise rates and the Bayes optimal label. We show that this set of second-order statistics successfully captures the induced imbalances. We further proceed to show that with the help of the estimated second-order statistics, we identify a new loss function whose expected risk of a classifier under instance-dependent label noise is equivalent to a new problem with only class-dependent label noise. This fact allows us to apply existing solutions to handle this better-studiedmore »setting. We provide an efficient procedure to estimate these second-order statistics without accessing either ground truth labels or prior knowledge of the noise rates. Experiments on CIFAR10 and CIFAR100 with synthetic instance-dependent label noise and Clothing1M with real-world human label noise verify our approach. Our implementation is available at https://github.com/UCSC-REAL/CAL.« less
  8. Chiappa, Silvia ; Calandra, Roberto (Ed.)
    This paper considers a variant of the classical online learning problem with expert predictions. Our model’s differences and challenges are due to lacking any direct feedback on the loss each expert incurs at each time step $t$. We propose an approach that uses peer prediction and identify conditions where it succeeds. Our techniques revolve around a carefully designed peer score function $s()$ that scores experts’ predictions based on the peer consensus. We show a sufficient condition, that we call \emph{peer calibration}, under which standard online learning algorithms using loss feedback computed by the carefully crafted $s()$ have bounded regret with respect to the unrevealed ground truth values. We then demonstrate how suitable $s()$ functions can be derived for different assumptions and models.