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Detecting and Learning from Unknown by Extremely Weak Supervision: eXploratory Classifier (xClass)

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Neural Computing and Applications
Issue number22
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)15145-15157
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/06/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this paper, we break with the traditional approach to classification, which is regarded as a form of supervised learning. We offer a method and algorithm, which make possible fully autonomous (unsupervised) detection of new classes, and learning following a very parsimonious training priming (few labeled data samples only). Moreover, new unknown classes may appear at a later stage and the proposed xClass method and algorithm are able to successfully discover this and learn from the data autonomously. Furthermore, the features (inputs to the classifier) are automatically sub-selected by the algorithm based on the accumulated data density per feature per class. In addition, the automatically generated model is easy to interpret and is locally generative and based on prototypes which define the modes of the data distribution. As a result, a highly efficient, lean, human-understandable, autonomously self-learning model (which only needs an extremely parsimonious priming) emerges from the data. To validate our proposal, we approbated it on four challenging problems, including imbalanced Faces-1999 data base, Caltech-101 dataset, vehicles dataset, and iRoads dataset, which is a dataset of images of autonomous driving scenarios. Not only we achieved higher precision (in one of the problems outperforming by 25% all other methods), but, more significantly, we only used a single class beforehand, while other methods used all the available classes and we generated interpretable models with smaller number of features used, through extremely weak and weak supervision. We demonstrated the ability to detect and learn new classes for both images and numerical examples.

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The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00521-021-06137-w