Label Propagation with Augmented Anchors: A Simple Semi-Supervised Learning baseline for Unsupervised Domain Adaptation

Yabin Zhang, Bin Deng, Kui Jia, Lei Zhang ;


Motivated by the problem relatedness between unsupervised domain adaptation (UDA) and semi-supervised learning (SSL), many state-of-the-art UDA methods adopt SSL principles (e.g., the cluster assumption) as their learning ingredients. However, they tend to overlook the very domain-shift nature of UDA. In this work, we take a step further to study the proper extensions of SSL techniques for UDA. Taking the algorithm of label propagation (LP) as an example, we analyze the challenges of adopting LP to UDA and theoretically analyze the conditions of affinity graph/matrix construction in order to achieve better propagation of true labels to unlabeled instances. Our analysis suggests a new algorithm of Label Propagation with Augmented Anchors (A$^2$LP), which could potentially improve LP via generation of unlabeled virtual instances (i.e., the augmented anchors) with high-confidence label predictions. To make the proposed A$^2$LP useful for UDA, we propose empirical schemes to generate such virtual instances. The proposed schemes also tackle the domain-shift challenge of UDA by alternating between pseudo labeling via A$^2$LP and domain-invariant feature learning. Experiments show that such a simple SSL extension improves over representative UDA methods of domain-invariant feature learning, and could empower two state-of-the-art methods on benchmark UDA datasets. Our results show the value of further investigation on SSL techniques for UDA problems."

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