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Estimating Noise Transition Matrix with Label Correlations for Noisy Multi-Label Learning

Shikun Li · Xiaobo Xia · Hansong Zhang · Yibing Zhan · Shiming Ge · Tongliang Liu

Keywords: [ Multi-Label Learning ] [ transition matrix estimation ] [ Label-Noise Learning ]


In label-noise learning, the noise transition matrix, bridging the class posterior for noisy and clean data, has been widely exploited to learn statistically consistent classifiers. The effectiveness of these algorithms relies heavily on estimating the transition matrix. Recently, the problem of label-noise learning in multi-label classification has received increasing attention, and these consistent algorithms can be applied in multi-label cases. However, the estimation of transition matrices in noisy multi-label learning has not been studied and remains challenging, since most of the existing estimators in noisy multi-class learning depend on the existence of anchor points and the accurate fitting of noisy class posterior. To address this problem, in this paper, we first study the identifiability problem of the class-dependent transition matrix in noisy multi-label learning, and then inspired by the identifiability results, we propose a new estimator by exploiting label correlations without neither anchor points nor accurate fitting of noisy class posterior. Specifically, we estimate the occurrence probability of two noisy labels to get noisy label correlations. Then, we perform sample selection to further extract information that implies clean label correlations, which is used to estimate the occurrence probability of one noisy label when a certain clean label appears. By utilizing the mismatch of label correlations implied in these occurrence probabilities, the transition matrix is identifiable, and can then be acquired by solving a simple bilinear decomposition problem. Empirical results demonstrate the effectiveness of our estimator to estimate the transition matrix with label correlations, leading to better classification performance. Source codes are available at

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