Humans Learn Using Manifolds, Reluctantly

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Authors

Tim Rogers, Chuck Kalish, Joseph Harrison, Jerry Zhu, Bryan Gibson

Abstract

<p>When the distribution of unlabeled data in feature space lies along a manifold, the information it provides may be used by a learner to assist classification in a semi-supervised setting. While manifold learning is well-known in machine learning, the use of manifolds in human learning is largely unstudied. We perform a set of experiments which test a human's ability to use a manifold in a semi-supervised learning task, under varying conditions. We show that humans may be encouraged into using the manifold, overcoming the strong preference for a simple, axis-parallel linear boundary.</p>