Active Learning

Active Learning is a machine learning approach where the learning algorithm actively selects the most informative or valuable instances from a pool of unlabeled data to be labeled by an oracle (human or automated) and then uses this labeled data to improve the learning model. The goal of active learning is to achieve higher performance with fewer labeled examples compared to traditional supervised learning approaches.

In active learning, the learning algorithm goes through the following iterative process:

Pool of Unlabeled Data: Initially, a large pool of unlabeled data is available for the learning algorithm to select from.

Initial Training: A small set of labeled data is used to train an initial model.

Query Strategy: The learning algorithm selects a subset of instances from the pool of unlabeled data based on a query strategy. The query strategy aims to identify the instances that are expected to provide the most valuable information for improving the model. This can be done based on uncertainty, diversity, or other criteria.

Labeling: The selected instances are sent to an oracle (human or automated) for labeling. The oracle provides the true labels or predictions for these instances.

Model Update: The newly labeled instances are added to the training set, and the model is retrained using the expanded labeled dataset.

Iteration: Steps 3-5 are repeated iteratively, with the learning algorithm selecting additional instances, labeling them, and updating the model. The goal is to iteratively select the most informative instances, gradually improving the model's performance.


By actively selecting which instances to label, active learning optimizes the learning process by focusing on the most relevant and uncertain instances. It allows the learning algorithm to learn more effectively with a limited labeling budget, reducing the need for large labeled datasets.

Active learning is particularly useful in scenarios where labeling data is expensive, time-consuming, or requires expert knowledge. It has applications in various domains, such as text classification, image recognition, and medical diagnosis. Active learning enables efficient data annotation, accelerates model training, and can lead to significant performance improvements by focusing on the most informative examples.