, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 39-60
Date: 09 Nov 2012

Transfer learning by centroid pivoted mapping in noisy environment

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Transfer learning is a widely investigated learning paradigm that is initially proposed to reuse informative knowledge from related domains, as supervised information in the target domain is scarce while it is sufficiently available in the multiple source domains. One of the challenging issues in transfer learning is how to handle the distribution differences between the source domains and the target domain. Most studies in the research field implicitly assume that data distributions from the source domains and the target domain are similar in a well-designed feature space. However, it is often the case that label assignments for data in the source domains and the target domain are significantly different. Therefore, in reality even if the distribution difference between a source domain and a target domain is reduced, the knowledge from multiple source domains is not well transferred to the target domain unless the label information is carefully considered. In addition, noisy data often emerge in real world applications. Therefore, considering how to handle noisy data in the transfer learning setting is a challenging problem, as noisy data inevitably cause a side effect during the knowledge transfer. Due to the above reasons, in this paper, we are motivated to propose a robust framework against noise in the transfer learning setting. We also explicitly consider the difference in data distributions and label assignments among multiple source domains and the target domain. Experimental results on one synthetic data set, three UCI data sets and one real world text data set in different noise levels demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.