Addressing Data Distribution Shifts in Online Machine Learning Powered Smart City Applications Using Augmented Test-Time Adaptation

Shawqi Al-Maliki, Faissal El Bouanani, Mohamed Abdallah, Junaid Qadir, Ala Al-Fuqaha

Data distribution shift is a common problem in machine learning-powered smart city applications where the test data differs from the training data. Augmenting smart city applications with online machine learning models can handle this issue at test time, albeit with high cost and unreliable performance. To overcome this limitation, we propose to endow test-time adaptation with a systematic active fine-tuning (SAF) layer that is characterized by three key aspects: a continuity aspect that adapts to ever-present data distribution shifts; intelligence aspect that recognizes the importance of fine-tuning as a distribution-shift-aware process that occurs at the appropriate time to address the recently detected data distribution shifts; and cost-effectiveness aspect that involves budgeted human-machine collaboration to make relabeling cost-effective and practical for diverse smart city applications. Our empirical results show that our proposed approach outperforms the traditional test-time adaptation by a factor of two.

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