Learning from Human-Generated Lists


Kwang-Sung Jun, Jerry Zhu, Burr Settles, Timothy Rogers ;
Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 28(3):181-189, 2013.


Human-generated lists are a form of non-iid data with important applications in machine learning and cognitive psychology. We propose a generative model - sampling with reduced replacement (SWIRL) - for such lists. We discuss SWIRL’s relation to standard sampling paradigms, provide the maximum likelihood estimate for learning, and demonstrate its value with two real-world applications: (i) In a ""feature volunteering"" task where non-experts spontaneously generate feature=>label pairs for text classification, SWIRL improves the accuracy of state-of-the-art feature-learning frameworks. (ii) In a ""verbal fluency"" task where brain-damaged patients generate word lists when prompted with a category, SWIRL parameters align well with existing psychological theories, and our model can classify healthy people vs. patients from the lists they generate.

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