Source Free Transfer Learning for Text Classification


  • Zhongqi Lu Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Yin Zhu Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Sinno Pan Institute for Infocomm Research
  • Evan Xiang Baidu Inc.
  • Yujing Wang Microsoft Research Asia, Beijing
  • Qiang Yang Hong Kong University of Science and Technology



Transfer Learning, Auxiliary Data Retrieval, Text Classification


Transfer learning uses relevant auxiliary data to help the learning task in a target domain where labeled data is usually insufficient to train an accurate model. Given appropriate auxiliary data, researchers have proposed many transfer learning models. How to find such auxiliary data, however, is of little research so far. In this paper, we focus on the problem of auxiliary data retrieval, and propose a transfer learning framework that effectively selects helpful auxiliary data from an open knowledge space (e.g. the World Wide Web). Because there is no need of manually selecting auxiliary data for different target domain tasks, we call our framework Source Free Transfer Learning (SFTL). For each target domain task, SFTL framework iteratively queries for the helpful auxiliary data based on the learned model and then updates the model using the retrieved auxiliary data. We highlight the automatic constructions of queries and the robustness of the SFTL framework. Our experiments on 20NewsGroup dataset and a Google search snippets dataset suggest that the framework is capable of achieving comparable performance to those state-of-the-art methods with dedicated selections of auxiliary data.




How to Cite

Lu, Z., Zhu, Y., Pan, S., Xiang, E., Wang, Y., & Yang, Q. (2014). Source Free Transfer Learning for Text Classification. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 28(1).