Active learning algorithms automatically identify the salient and exemplar instances from large amounts of unlabeled data and thus reduce human annotation effort in inducing a classification model. More recently, Batch Mode Active Learning (BMAL) techniques have been proposed, where a batch of data samples is selected simultaneously from an unlabeled set. Most active learning algorithms assume a flat label space, that is, they consider the class labels to be independent. However, in many applications, the set of class labels are organized in a hierarchical tree structure, with the leaf nodes as outputs and the internal nodes as clusters of outputs at multiple levels of granularity. In this paper, we propose a novel BMAL algorithm (BatchRank) for hierarchical classification. The sample selection is posed as an NP-hard integer quadratic programming problem and a convex relaxation (based on linear programming) is derived, whose solution is further improved by an iterative truncated power method. Finally, a deterministic bound is established on the quality of the solution. Our empirical results on several challenging, real-world datasets from multiple domains, corroborate the potential of the proposed framework for real-world hierarchical classification applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKDD 2015 - Proceedings of the 21st ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336642
StatePublished - Aug 10 2015
Event21st ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2015 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: Aug 10 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining


Conference21st ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2015


  • Active learning
  • Hierarchical classification
  • Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems


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