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# Data-Efficient Learning via Clustering-Based Sensitivity Sampling: Foundation Models and Beyond

*Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 235:2086-2107, 2024.

#### Abstract

We study the data selection problem, whose aim is to select a small representative subset of data that can be used to efficiently train a machine learning model. We present a new data selection approach based on $k$-means clustering and sensitivity sampling. Assuming access to an embedding representation of the data with respect to which the model loss is Holder continuous, our approach provably allows selecting a set of “typical” $k + 1/\varepsilon^2$ elements whose average loss corresponds to the average loss of the whole dataset, up to a multiplicative $(1\pm\varepsilon)$ factor and an additive $\varepsilon \lambda \Phi_k$, where $\Phi_k$ represents the $k$-means cost for the input embeddings and $\lambda$ is the Holder constant. We furthermore demonstrate the performance and scalability of our approach on fine-tuning foundation models and show that it outperforms state-of-the-art methods. We also show how it can be applied on linear regression, leading to a new sampling strategy that surprisingly matches the performance of leverage score sampling, while being conceptually simpler and more scalable.