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Active Learning with Semi-Supervised Support Vector Machines
A significant problem in many machine learning tasks is that it is time consuming and costly to gather the necessary labeled data for training the learning algorithm to a reasonable level of performance. In reality, it is often the case that a small amount of labeled data is available and that more unlabeled data could be labeled on demand at a cost. If the labeled data is obtained by a process outside of the control of the learner, then the learner is passive. If the learner picks the data to be labeled, then this becomes active learning. This has the advantage that the learner can pick data to gain specific information that will speed up the learning process. Support Vector Machines (SVMs) have many properties that make them attractive to use as a learning algorithm for many real world applications including classification tasks. Some researchers have proposed algorithms for active learning with SVMs, i.e. algorithms for choosing the next unlabeled instance to get label for. Their approach is supervised in nature since they do not consider all unlabeled instances while looking for the next instance. In this thesis, we propose three new algorithms for applying active learning for SVMs in a semi-supervised setting which takes advantage of the presence of all unlabeled points. The suggested approaches might, by reducing the number of experiments needed, yield considerable savings in costly classification problems in the cases when finding the training data for a classifier is expensive.