Breaking Boundaries Between Induction Time and Diagnosis Time Active Information Acquisition

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Ashish Kapoor, Eric Horvitz


There has been a clear distinction between induction or training time and diagnosis time active information acquisition. While active learning during induction focuses on acquiring data that promises to provide the best classification model, the goal at diagnosis time focuses completely on next features to observe about the test case at hand in order to make better predictions about the case. We introduce a model and inferential methods that breaks this distinction. The methods can be used to extend case libraries under a budget but, more fundamentally, provide a framework for guiding agents to collect data under scarce resources, focused by diagnostic challenges. This extension to active learning leads to a new class of policies for real-time diagnosis, where recommended information-gathering sequences include actions that simultaneously seek new data for the case at hand and for cases in the training set.