Non-Linear Domain Adaptation with Boosting

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)

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Carlos J. Becker, Christos M. Christoudias, Pascal Fua


A common assumption in machine vision is that the training and test samples are drawn from the same distribution. However, there are many problems when this assumption is grossly violated, as in bio-medical applications where different acquisitions can generate drastic variations in the appearance of the data due to changing experimental conditions. This problem is accentuated with 3D data, for which annotation is very time-consuming, limiting the amount of data that can be labeled in new acquisitions for training. In this paper we present a multi-task learning algorithm for domain adaptation based on boosting. Unlike previous approaches that learn task-specific decision boundaries, our method learns a single decision boundary in a shared feature space, common to all tasks. We use the boosting-trick to learn a non-linear mapping of the observations in each task, with no need for specific a-priori knowledge of its global analytical form. This yields a more parameter-free domain adaptation approach that successfully leverages learning on new tasks where labeled data is scarce. We evaluate our approach on two challenging bio-medical datasets and achieve a significant improvement over the state-of-the-art.