Learning Dependency Structures for Weak Supervision Models


Paroma Varma, Frederic Sala, Ann He, Alexander Ratner, Christopher Re ;
Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 97:6418-6427, 2019.


Labeling training data is a key bottleneck in the modern machine learning pipeline. Recent weak supervision approaches combine labels from multiple noisy sources by estimating their accuracies without access to ground truth labels; however, estimating the dependencies among these sources is a critical challenge. We focus on a robust PCA-based algorithm for learning these dependency structures, establish improved theoretical recovery rates, and outperform existing methods on various real-world tasks. Under certain conditions, we show that the amount of unlabeled data needed can scale sublinearly or even logarithmically with the number of sources m, improving over previous efforts that ignore the sparsity pattern in the dependency structure and scale linearly in m. We provide an information-theoretic lower bound on the minimum sample complexity of the weak supervision setting. Our method outperforms weak supervision approaches that assume conditionally-independent sources by up to 4.64 F1 points and previous structure learning approaches by up to 4.41 F1 points on real-world relation extraction and image classification tasks.

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