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# Semi-Supervised Learning: the Case When Unlabeled Data is Equally Useful

*Proceedings of the 36th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI)*, PMLR 124:709-718, 2020.

#### Abstract

Semi-supervised learning algorithms attempt to take advantage of relatively inexpensive unlabeled data to improve learning performance. In this work, we consider statistical models where the data distributions can be characterized by continuous parameters. We show that under certain conditions on the distribution, unlabeled data is equally useful as labeled date in terms of learning rate. Specifically, let $n, m$ be the number of labeled and unlabeled data, respectively. It is shown that the learning rate of semi-supervised learning scales as $O(1/n)$ if $m\sim n$, and scales as $O(1/n^{1+\gamma})$ if $m\sim n^{1+\gamma}$ for some $\gamma>0$, whereas the learning rate of supervised learning scales as $O(1/n)$.