CrowdTeacher: Robust Co-teaching with Noisy Answers & Sample-specific Perturbations for Tabular Data

Mani Sotoodeh, Li Xiong, Joyce C. Ho

Samples with ground truth labels may not always be available in numerous domains. While learning from crowdsourcing labels has been explored, existing models can still fail in the presence of sparse, unreliable, or diverging annotations. Co-teaching methods have shown promising improvements for computer vision problems with noisy labels by employing two classifiers trained on each others' confident samples in each batch. Inspired by the idea of separating confident and uncertain samples during the training process, we extend it for the crowdsourcing problem. Our model, CrowdTeacher, uses the idea that perturbation in the input space model can improve the robustness of the classifier for noisy labels. Treating crowdsourcing annotations as a source of noisy labeling, we perturb samples based on the certainty from the aggregated annotations. The perturbed samples are fed to a Co-teaching algorithm tuned to also accommodate smaller tabular data. We showcase the boost in predictive power attained using CrowdTeacher for both synthetic and real datasets across various label density settings. Our experiments reveal that our proposed approach beats baselines modeling individual annotations and then combining them, methods simultaneously learning a classifier and inferring truth labels, and the Co-teaching algorithm with aggregated labels through common truth inference methods.

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