Towards Free Data Selection with General-Purpose Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yichen Xie, Mingyu Ding, Masayoshi TOMIZUKA, Wei Zhan


A desirable data selection algorithm can efficiently choose the most informative samples to maximize the utility of limited annotation budgets. However, current approaches, represented by active learning methods, typically follow a cumbersome pipeline that iterates the time-consuming model training and batch data selection repeatedly. In this paper, we challenge this status quo by designing a distinct data selection pipeline that utilizes existing general-purpose models to select data from various datasets with a single-pass inference without the need for additional training or supervision. A novel free data selection (FreeSel) method is proposed following this new pipeline. Specifically, we define semantic patterns extracted from inter-mediate features of the general-purpose model to capture subtle local information in each image. We then enable the selection of all data samples in a single pass through distance-based sampling at the fine-grained semantic pattern level. FreeSel bypasses the heavy batch selection process, achieving a significant improvement in efficiency and being 530x faster than existing active learning methods. Extensive experiments verify the effectiveness of FreeSel on various computer vision tasks.