Iterative Teaching by Label Synthesis

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Weiyang Liu, Zhen Liu, Hanchen Wang, Liam Paull, Bernhard Schölkopf, Adrian Weller


In this paper, we consider the problem of iterative machine teaching, where a teacher provides examples sequentially based on the current iterative learner. In contrast to previous methods that have to scan over the entire pool and select teaching examples from it in each iteration, we propose a label synthesis teaching framework where the teacher randomly selects input teaching examples (e.g., images) and then synthesizes suitable outputs (e.g., labels) for them. We show that this framework can avoid costly example selection while still provably achieving exponential teachability. We propose multiple novel teaching algorithms in this framework. Finally, we empirically demonstrate the value of our framework.