Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)
Maria-Florina F. Balcan, Vitaly Feldman
We describe a framework for designing efficient active learning algorithms that are tolerant to random classification noise. The framework is based on active learning algorithms that are statistical in the sense that they rely on estimates of expectations of functions of filtered random examples. It builds on the powerful statistical query framework of Kearns (1993). We show that any efficient active statistical learning algorithm can be automatically converted to an efficient active learning algorithm which is tolerant to random classification noise as well as other forms of uncorrelated" noise. The complexity of the resulting algorithms has information-theoretically optimal quadratic dependence on $1/(1-2\eta)$, where $\eta$ is the noise rate. We demonstrate the power of our framework by showing that commonly studied concept classes including thresholds, rectangles, and linear separators can be efficiently actively learned in our framework. These results combined with our generic conversion lead to the first known computationally-efficient algorithms for actively learning some of these concept classes in the presence of random classification noise that provide exponential improvement in the dependence on the error $\epsilon$ over their passive counterparts. In addition, we show that our algorithms can be automatically converted to efficient active differentially-private algorithms. This leads to the first differentially-private active learning algorithms with exponential label savings over the passive case."