Purdue University Graduate School
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Machine Learning in the Open World

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posted on 2021-07-29, 13:08 authored by Yicheng ChengYicheng Cheng
By Machine Learning in the Open World, we are trying to build models that can be used in a more realistic setting where there could always be something "unknown" happening. Beyond the traditional machine learning tasks such as classification and segmentation where all classes are predefined, we are dealing with the challenges from newly emerged classes, irrelevant classes, outliers, and class imbalance.
At the beginning, we focus on the Non-Exhaustive Learning (NEL) problem from a statistical aspect. By NEL, we assume that our training classes are non-exhaustive, where the testing data could contain unknown classes. And we aim to build models that could simultaneously perform classification and class discovery. We proposed a non-parametric Bayesian model that learns some hyper-parameters from both training and discovered classes (which is empty at the beginning), then infer the label partitioning under the guidance of the learned hyper-parameters, and repeat the above procedure until convergence.
After obtaining good results on applications with plain and low dimensional data such flow-cytometry and some benchmark datasets, we move forward to Non-Exhaustive Feature Learning (NEFL). For NEFL, we extend our work with deep learning techniques to learn representations on datasets with complex structural and spatial correlations. We proposed a metric learning approach to learn a feature space with good discrimination on both training classes and generalize well on unknown classes. Then we developed some variants of this metric learning algorithm to deal with outliers and irrelevant classes. We applied our final model to applications such as open world image classification, image segmentation, and SRS hyperspectral image segmentation and obtained promising results.
Finally, we did some explorations with Out of Distribution detection (OOD) to detect irrelevant sample and outliers to complete the story.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Computer Science

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Murat Dundar

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Petros Drineas

Additional Committee Member 2

George Mohler

Additional Committee Member 3

Antonio Bianchi

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