SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 63 , Issue 11 : 210205(2020) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-020-3082-9

Active learning based on belief functions

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  • ReceivedJun 27, 2020
  • AcceptedSep 10, 2020
  • PublishedOct 22, 2020



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61671370), Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2016M592790), and Postdoctoral Science Research Foundation of Shaanxi Province (Grant No. 2016BSHEDZZ46).


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  • Figure 1

    The process of active learning.

  • Figure 2

    (Color online) The problem of traditional uncertainty sampling.

  • Figure 3

    Uncertainty sampling based on belief functions.

  • Figure 5

    (Color online) Distribution of artificial dataset Toy2.

  • Figure 6

    (Color online) Active learning performance on Heart dataset based on LR. (a) Learning curve; (b) distributions of the classifier's accuracy.

  • Figure 14

    (Color online) Active learning performance on Toy2 dataset based on LR. (a) Learning curve; (b) distributions of the classifier's accuracy.

  • Table 1  

    Table 1Uncertainty based on probability entropy

    $p_{1}$ $p_{2}$ Probability entropy

    Algorithm 1 Traditional uncertainty sampling

    Require:A set of labeled samples $L$, a set of unlabeled samples $U$.

    while Termination condition not satisfied do

    Train a classifier $\phi_{c}(\cdot~|~L)$ based on labeled samples;

    for $i=1:|U|$

    Calculate the uncertainty of the sample, ${\rm~Un}(x_{i}^u)$;

    end for




    end while


    Algorithm 2 USBF

    Require:A set of labeled samples $L$, a set of unlabeled samples $U$.

    while Termination condition not satisfied do

    Train a classifier $\phi_{c}(\cdot~|~L)$ based on labeled samples;


    for $i=1:|U|$


    Calculate the belief functions of $x_{i}^u$,$m_{x_{i}^u}(\theta)$;

    if ($m_{x_{i}^u}(\emptyset)<\eta$) then


    end if

    end for

    for $i=1:|U_{R}|$

    Calculate the AM$(x_{i}^u)$;

    end for




    end while

  • Table 2  

    Table 2Symbolic representation involved in the algorithm

    $L$All labeled samples$U$All unlabeled samples
    $x^*$Selected samples${\rm~AM}(x_{i}^u)$The ambiguity measure of $x_{i}^u$
    $\phi_{c}(\cdot~|~L)$Classifier trained on labeled samples$p(x_{i}^u)$The output probability of $x_{i}^u$
    $|U|$The number of unlabeled samples$x_{i}^u$An unlabeled sample
    ${\rm~Un}(x_{i}^u)$The uncertainty of $x_{i}^u$$m_{x_{i}^u}(\theta)$The belief function of $x_{i}^u$
    $\eta$Threshold about $m_{\emptyset}$
  • Table 3  

    Table 3Uncertainty based on belief functions

    Sample4series 0.37390.01750.01750.5853
  • Table 4  

    Table 4Details of datasets

    Data Category Num Proportion Features
    Heart 2 270 150/120 13
    Breast2 683 444/239 9
  • Table 5  

    Table 5Performance comparison of active learning algorithms in terms of ALC (the classifier is LR)$^{\rm~a)}$

    Random MaxEntropy MaxAM MMCVRDiversityPr
    Heart20.730321.3208series 22.587621.379220.972922.1399$<$0.001
    Breast23.848124.1926series 24.325123.640224.197723.6796$<$0.001
    DvsP27.386928.5772series 28.639528.639427.690328.2065$<$0.001
    IvsJ25.229726.1200series 26.284625.510225.600625.4774$<$0.001
    VvsY24.848825.5989series 25.786825.506625.100825.04050.281
    EvsF27.105428.1053series 28.178027.463827.235027.6923$<$0.001
    7VS926.756326.9520series 26.959026.724726.888026.8400$<$0.001
    Toy129.191629.344429.3830series 29.383929.355329.3433$<$0.001
    Toy229.160627.1131series 29.738527.299827.255929.1533$<$0.001
    Win00series 8100
    Rank5.203.11series 1.113.673.894


  • Table 6  

    Table 6Performance comparison of active learning algorithms in terms of ALC (the classifier is SVM)$^{\rm~a)}$

    Random MaxEntropy MaxAM MMCVRDiversityPr
    Heart19.913019.8200series 20.449419.623419.623419.94690.6839
    Breast23.181723.5343series 23.802323.564623.464923.6947$<$0.001
    DvsP28.041428.4266series 28.743828.365428.094728.2963$<$0.001
    IvsJ26.764025.5787series 25.842025.146924.865225.3375$<$0.001
    VvsY24.355525.2773series 25.640624.817924.042024.1685$<$0.001
    EvsF27.466128.1299series 28.295327.784127.536327.4708$<$0.001
    7VS926.547126.8171series 26.891226.699526.795726.5487$<$0.001
    Toy129.230229.4354series 29.442629.346629.411229.3556$<$0.001
    Toy226.859526.4866series 28.542727.292926.262028.0407$<$0.001
    Win00series 9000
    Rank5.382.5series 13.884.633.75


  • Table 7  

    Table 7Average run time of active learning algorithms

    Random MaxEntropy MaxAM MMCVRDiversity
    LR0.023 0.026 series 0.645 0.052 0.2630.058
    SVM0.024 0.828 series 1.687 0.923 1.1220.056