Mindful active learning

Zhila Esna Ashari, Hassan Ghasemzadeh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


We propose a novel active learning framework for activity recognition using wearable sensors. Our work is unique in that it takes physical and cognitive limitations of the oracle into account when selecting sensor data to be annotated by the oracle. Our approach is inspired by human-beings' limited capacity to respond to external stimulus such as responding to a prompt on their mobile devices. This capacity constraint is manifested not only in the number of queries that a person can respond to in a given time-frame but also in the lag between the time that a query is made and when it is responded to. We introduce the notion of mindful active learning and propose a computational framework, called EMMA1, to maximize the active learning performance taking informativeness of sensor data, query budget, and human memory into account. We formulate this optimization problem, propose an approach to model memory retention, discuss complexity of the problem, and propose a greedy heuristic to solve the problem. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on three publicly available datasets and by simulating oracles with various memory strengths. We show that the activity recognition accuracy ranges from 21% to 97% depending on memory strength, query budget, and difficulty of the machine learning task. Our results also indicate that EMMA achieves an accuracy level that is, on average, 13.5% higher than the case when only informativeness of the sensor data is considered for active learning. Additionally, we show that the performance of our approach is at most 20% less than experimental upper-bound and up to 80% higher than experimental lower-bound. We observe that mindful active learning is most beneficial when query budget is small and/or oracle's memory is weak, thus emphasizing contributions of our work in human-centered mobile health settings and for elderly with cognitive impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2019
EditorsSarit Kraus
PublisherInternational Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780999241141
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2019 - Macao, China
Duration: Aug 10 2019Aug 16 2019

Publication series

NameIJCAI International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
ISSN (Print)1045-0823


Conference28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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