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A Survey on Transfer Learning
"... A major assumption in many machine learning and data mining algorithms is that the training and future data must be in the same feature space and have the same distribution. However, in many realworld applications, this assumption may not hold. For example, we sometimes have a classification task i ..."
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Cited by 195 (18 self)
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A major assumption in many machine learning and data mining algorithms is that the training and future data must be in the same feature space and have the same distribution. However, in many realworld applications, this assumption may not hold. For example, we sometimes have a classification task in one domain of interest, but we only have sufficient training data in another domain of interest, where the latter data may be in a different feature space or follow a different data distribution. In such cases, knowledge transfer, if done successfully, would greatly improve the performance of learning by avoiding much expensive data labeling efforts. In recent years, transfer learning has emerged as a new learning framework to address this problem. This survey focuses on categorizing and reviewing the current progress on transfer learning for classification, regression and clustering problems. In this survey, we discuss the relationship between transfer learning and other related machine learning techniques such as domain adaptation, multitask learning and sample selection bias, as well as covariate shift. We also explore some potential future issues in transfer learning research.
Boosting for transfer learning
 In ICML
, 2007
"... Traditional machine learning makes a basic assumption: the training and test data should be under the same distribution. However, in many cases, this identicaldistribution assumption does not hold. The assumption might be violated when a task from one new domain comes, while there are only labeled d ..."
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Cited by 93 (11 self)
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Traditional machine learning makes a basic assumption: the training and test data should be under the same distribution. However, in many cases, this identicaldistribution assumption does not hold. The assumption might be violated when a task from one new domain comes, while there are only labeled data from a similar old domain. Labeling the new data can be costly and it would also be a waste to throw away all the old data. In this paper, we present a novel transfer learning framework called TrAdaBoost, which extends boostingbased learning algorithms (Freund & Schapire, 1997). TrAdaBoost allows users to utilize a small amount of newly labeled data to leverage the old data to construct a highquality classification model for the new data. We show that this method can allow us to learn an accurate model using only a tiny amount of new data and a large amount of old data, even when the new data are not sufficient to train a model alone. We show that TrAdaBoost allows knowledge to be effectively transferred from the old data to the new. The effectiveness of our algorithm is analyzed theoretically and empirically to show that our iterative algorithm can converge well to an accurate model.
Discriminative learning for differing training and test distributions
 In ICML
, 2007
"... We address classification problems for which the training instances are governed by a distribution that is allowed to differ arbitrarily from the test distribution—problems also referred to as classification under covariate shift. We derive a solution that is purely discriminative: neither training ..."
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Cited by 78 (7 self)
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We address classification problems for which the training instances are governed by a distribution that is allowed to differ arbitrarily from the test distribution—problems also referred to as classification under covariate shift. We derive a solution that is purely discriminative: neither training nor test distribution are modeled explicitly. We formulate the general problem of learning under covariate shift as an integrated optimization problem. We derive a kernel logistic regression classifier for differing training and test distributions. 1.
Covariate shift adaptation by importance weighted cross validation
, 2000
"... A common assumption in supervised learning is that the input points in the training set follow the same probability distribution as the input points that will be given in the future test phase. However, this assumption is not satisfied, for example, when the outside of the training region is extrapo ..."
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Cited by 72 (37 self)
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A common assumption in supervised learning is that the input points in the training set follow the same probability distribution as the input points that will be given in the future test phase. However, this assumption is not satisfied, for example, when the outside of the training region is extrapolated. The situation where the training input points and test input points follow different distributions while the conditional distribution of output values given input points is unchanged is called the covariate shift. Under the covariate shift, standard model selection techniques such as cross validation do not work as desired since its unbiasedness is no longer maintained. In this paper, we propose a new method called importance weighted cross validation (IWCV), for which we prove its unbiasedness even under the covariate shift. The IWCV procedure is the only one that can be applied for unbiased classification under covariate shift, whereas alternatives to IWCV exist for regression. The usefulness of our proposed method is illustrated by simulations, and furthermore demonstrated in the braincomputer interface, where strong nonstationarity effects can be seen between training and test sessions. c2000 Masashi Sugiyama, Matthias Krauledat, and KlausRobert Müller.
Direct importance estimation with model selection and its application to covariate shift adaptation
 In NIPS
, 2008
"... A situation where training and test samples follow different input distributions is called covariate shift. Under covariate shift, standard learning methods such as maximum likelihood estimation are no longer consistent—weighted variants according to the ratio of test and training input densities ar ..."
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Cited by 45 (9 self)
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A situation where training and test samples follow different input distributions is called covariate shift. Under covariate shift, standard learning methods such as maximum likelihood estimation are no longer consistent—weighted variants according to the ratio of test and training input densities are consistent. Therefore, accurately estimating the density ratio, called the importance, is one of the key issues in covariate shift adaptation. A naive approach to this task is to first estimate training and test input densities separately and then estimate the importance by taking the ratio of the estimated densities. However, this naive approach tends to perform poorly since density estimation is a hard task particularly in high dimensional cases. In this paper, we propose a direct importance estimation method that does not involve density estimation. Our method is equipped with a natural cross validation procedure and hence tuning parameters such as the kernel width can be objectively optimized. Simulations illustrate the usefulness of our approach. 1
InputDependent Estimation of Generalization Error under Covariate Shift
 STATISTICS & DECISIONS, VOL.23, NO.4, PP.249–279, 2005
, 2005
"... A common assumption in supervised learning is that the training and test input points follow the same probability distribution. However, this assumption is not fulfilled, e.g., in interpolation, extrapolation, active learning, or classification with imbalanced data. The violation of this assumption— ..."
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Cited by 42 (26 self)
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A common assumption in supervised learning is that the training and test input points follow the same probability distribution. However, this assumption is not fulfilled, e.g., in interpolation, extrapolation, active learning, or classification with imbalanced data. The violation of this assumption—known as the covariate shift— causes a heavy bias in standard generalization error estimation schemes such as crossvalidation or Akaike’s information criterion, and thus they result in poor model selection. In this paper, we propose an alternative estimator of the generalization error for the squared loss function when training and test distributions are different. The proposed generalization error estimator is shown to be exactly unbiased for finite samples if the learning target function is realizable and asymptotically unbiased in general. We also show that, in addition to the unbiasedness, the proposed generalization error estimator can accurately estimate the difference of the generalization error among different models, which is a desirable property in model selection. Numerical studies show that the proposed method compares favorably with existing model selection methods in regression for extrapolation and in classification with imbalanced data.
Knowledge transfer via multiple model local structure mapping
 In International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, Las Vegas, NV
, 2008
"... The effectiveness of knowledge transfer using classification algorithms depends on the difference between the distribution that generates the training examples and the one from which test examples are to be drawn. The task can be especially difficult when the training examples are from one or severa ..."
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Cited by 39 (8 self)
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The effectiveness of knowledge transfer using classification algorithms depends on the difference between the distribution that generates the training examples and the one from which test examples are to be drawn. The task can be especially difficult when the training examples are from one or several domains different from the test domain. In this paper, we propose a locally weighted ensemble framework to combine multiple models for transfer learning, where the weights are dynamically assigned according to a model’s predictive power on each test example. It can integrate the advantages of various learning algorithms and the labeled information from multiple training domains into one unified classification model, which can then be applied on a different domain. Importantly, different from many previously proposed methods, none of the base learning method is required to be specifically designed for transfer learning. We show the optimality of a locally weighted ensemble framework as a general approach to combine multiple models for domain transfer. We then propose an implementation of the local weight assignments by mapping the structures of a model onto the structures of the test domain, and then weighting each model locally according to its consistency with the neighborhood structure around the test example. Experimental results on text classification, spam filtering and intrusion detection data sets demonstrate significant improvements in classification accuracy gained by the framework. On a transfer learning task of newsgroup message categorization, the proposed locally weighted ensemble framework achieves 97 % accuracy when the best single model predicts correctly only on 73 % of the test examples. In summary, the improvement in accuracy is over 10 % and up to 30 % across different problems.
Transferring naive bayes classifiers for text classification
 In Proceedings of the 22nd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence
, 2007
"... A basic assumption in traditional machine learning is that the training and test data distributions should be identical. This assumption may not hold in many situations in practice, but we may be forced to rely on a differentdistribution data to learn a prediction model. For example, this may be th ..."
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Cited by 37 (5 self)
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A basic assumption in traditional machine learning is that the training and test data distributions should be identical. This assumption may not hold in many situations in practice, but we may be forced to rely on a differentdistribution data to learn a prediction model. For example, this may be the case when it is expensive to label the data in a domain of interest, although in a related but different domain there may be plenty of labeled data available. In this paper, we propose a novel transferlearning algorithm for text classification based on an EMbased Naive Bayes classifiers. Our solution is to first estimate the initial probabilities under a distribution Dℓ of one labeled data set, and then use an EM algorithm to revise the model for a different distribution Du of the test data which are unlabeled. We show that our algorithm is very effective in several different pairs of domains, where the distances between the different distributions are measured using the KullbackLeibler (KL) divergence. Moreover, KLdivergence is used to decide the tradeoff parameters in our algorithm. In the experiment, our algorithm outperforms the traditional supervised and semisupervised learning algorithms when the distributions of the training and test sets are increasingly different.
MultiTask Learning for HIV Therapy Screening
"... We address the problem of learning classifiers for a large number of tasks. We derive a solution that produces resampling weights which match the pool of all examples to the target distribution of any given task. Our work is motivated by the problem of predicting the outcome of a therapy attempt for ..."
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Cited by 36 (4 self)
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We address the problem of learning classifiers for a large number of tasks. We derive a solution that produces resampling weights which match the pool of all examples to the target distribution of any given task. Our work is motivated by the problem of predicting the outcome of a therapy attempt for a patient who carries an HIV virus with a set of observed genetic properties. Such predictions need to be made for hundreds of possible combinations of drugs, some of which use similar biochemical mechanisms. Multitask learning enables us to make predictions even for drug combinations with few or no training examples and substantially improves the overall prediction accuracy. 1.
A leastsquares approach to direct importance estimation
 Journal of Machine Learning Research
, 2009
"... We address the problem of estimating the ratio of two probability density functions, which is often referred to as the importance. The importance values can be used for various succeeding tasks such as covariate shift adaptation or outlier detection. In this paper, we propose a new importance estima ..."
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Cited by 35 (22 self)
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We address the problem of estimating the ratio of two probability density functions, which is often referred to as the importance. The importance values can be used for various succeeding tasks such as covariate shift adaptation or outlier detection. In this paper, we propose a new importance estimation method that has a closedform solution; the leaveoneout crossvalidation score can also be computed analytically. Therefore, the proposed method is computationally highly efficient and simple to implement. We also elucidate theoretical properties of the proposed method such as the convergence rate and approximation error bounds. Numerical experiments show that the proposed method is comparable to the best existing method in accuracy, while it is computationally more efficient than competing approaches.