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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Semi-supervised and active training of conditional random fields for activity recognition Mahdaviani, Maryam


Automated human activity recognition has attracted increasing attention in the past decade. However, the application of machine learning and probabilistic methods for activity recognition problems has been studied only in the past couple of years. For the first time, this thesis explores the application of semi-supervised and active learning in activity recognition. We present a new and efficient semi-supervised training method for parameter estimation and feature selection in conditional random fields (CRFs),a probabilistic graphical model. In real-world applications such as activity recognition, unlabeled sensor traces are relatively easy to obtain whereas labeled examples are expensive and tedious to collect. Furthermore, the ability to automatically select a small subset of discriminatory features from a large pool can be advantageous in terms of computational speed as well as accuracy. We introduce the semi-supervised virtual evidence boosting (sVEB)algorithm for training CRFs — a semi-supervised extension to the recently developed virtual evidence boosting (VEB) method for feature selection and parameter learning. sVEB takes advantage of the unlabeled data via mini-mum entropy regularization. The objective function combines the unlabeled conditional entropy with labeled conditional pseudo-likelihood. The sVEB algorithm reduces the overall system cost as well as the human labeling cost required during training, which are both important considerations in building real world inference systems. Moreover, we propose an active learning algorithm for training CRFs is based on virtual evidence boosting and uses entropy measures. Active virtual evidence boosting (aVEB) queries the user for most informative examples, efficiently builds up labeled training examples and incorporates unlabeled data as in sVEB. aVEB not only reduces computational complexity of training CRFs as in sVEB, but also outputs more accurate classification results for the same fraction of labeled data. Ina set of experiments we illustrate that our algorithms, sVEB and aVEB, benefit from both the use of unlabeled data and automatic feature selection, and outperform other semi-supervised and active training approaches. The proposed methods could also be extended and employed for other classification problems in relational data.

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