Open-World Learning Without Labels

Mohsen Jafarzadeh, Akshay Raj Dhamija, Steve Cruz, Chunchun Li, Touqeer Ahmad, Terrance E. Boult

Open-world learning is a problem where an autonomous agent detects things that it does not know and learns them over time from a non-stationary and never-ending stream of data; in an open-world environment, the training data and objective criteria are never available at once. The agent should grasp new knowledge from learning without forgetting acquired prior knowledge. Researchers proposed a few open-world learning agents for image classification tasks that operate in complex scenarios. However, all prior work on open-world learning has all labeled data to learn the new classes from the stream of images. In scenarios where autonomous agents should respond in near real-time or work in areas with limited communication infrastructure, human labeling of data is not possible. Therefore, supervised open-world learning agents are not scalable solutions for such applications. Herein, we propose a new framework that enables agents to learn new classes from a stream of unlabeled data in an unsupervised manner. Also, we study the robustness and learning speed of such agents with supervised and unsupervised feature representation. We also introduce a new metric for open-world learning without labels. We anticipate our theories and method to be a starting point for developing autonomous true open-world never-ending learning agents.

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