Maximizing the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) is a standard approach to imbalanced classification. So far, various supervised AUC optimization methods have been developed and they are also extended to semi-supervised scenarios to cope with small sample problems. However, existing semi-supervised AUC optimization methods rely on strong distributional assumptions, which are rarely satisfied in real-world problems. In this paper, we propose a novel semi-supervised AUC optimization method that does not require such restrictive assumptions. We first develop an AUC optimization method based only on positive and unlabeled data and then extend it to semi-supervised learning by combining it with a supervised AUC optimization method. We theoretically prove that, without the restrictive distributional assumptions, unlabeled data contribute to improving the generalization performance in PU and semi-supervised AUC optimization methods. Finally, we demonstrate the practical usefulness of the proposed methods through experiments.
Machine Learning – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 26, 2017
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