Training Subset Selection for Weak Supervision

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Hunter Lang, Aravindan Vijayaraghavan, David Sontag


Existing weak supervision approaches use all the data covered by weak signals to train a classifier. We show both theoretically and empirically that this is not always optimal. Intuitively, there is a tradeoff between the amount of weakly-labeled data and the precision of the weak labels. We explore this tradeoff by combining pretrained data representations with the cut statistic to select (hopefully) high-quality subsets of the weakly-labeled training data. Subset selection applies to any label model and classifier and is very simple to plug in to existing weak supervision pipelines, requiring just a few lines of code. We show our subset selection method improves the performance of weak supervision for a wide range of label models, classifiers, and datasets. Using less weakly-labeled data improves the accuracy of weak supervision pipelines by up to 19% (absolute) on benchmark tasks.