Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)
Krishnateja Killamsetty, Xujiang Zhao, Feng Chen, Rishabh Iyer
Semi-supervised learning (SSL) algorithms have had great success in recent years in limited labeled data regimes. However, the current state-of-the-art SSL algorithms are computationally expensive and entail significant compute time and energy requirements. This can prove to be a huge limitation for many smaller companies and academic groups. Our main insight is that training on a subset of unlabeled data instead of entire unlabeled data enables the current SSL algorithms to converge faster, significantly reducing computational costs. In this work, we propose RETRIEVE, a coreset selection framework for efficient and robust semi-supervised learning. RETRIEVE selects the coreset by solving a mixed discrete-continuous bi-level optimization problem such that the selected coreset minimizes the labeled set loss. We use a one-step gradient approximation and show that the discrete optimization problem is approximately submodular, enabling simple greedy algorithms to obtain the coreset. We empirically demonstrate on several real-world datasets that existing SSL algorithms like VAT, Mean-Teacher, FixMatch, when used with RETRIEVE, achieve a) faster training times, b) better performance when unlabeled data consists of Out-of-Distribution (OOD) data and imbalance. More specifically, we show that with minimal accuracy degradation, RETRIEVE achieves a speedup of around $3\times$ in the traditional SSL setting and achieves a speedup of $5\times$ compared to state-of-the-art (SOTA) robust SSL algorithms in the case of imbalance and OOD data. RETRIEVE is available as a part of the CORDS toolkit: https://github.com/decile-team/cords.