Which Samples Should be Learned First: Easy or Hard?

10/11/2021 ∙ by Xiaoling Zhou, et al. ∙ 0

An effective weighting scheme for training samples is essential for learning tasks. Numerous weighting schemes have been proposed. Some schemes take the easy-first mode on samples, whereas some others take the hard-first mode. Naturally, an interesting yet realistic question is raised. Which samples should be learned first given a new learning task, easy or hard? To answer this question, three aspects of research are carried out. First, a high-level unified weighted loss is proposed, providing a more comprehensive view for existing schemes. Theoretical analysis is subsequently conducted and preliminary conclusions are obtained. Second, a flexible weighting scheme is proposed to overcome the defects of existing schemes. The three modes, namely, easy/medium/hard-first, can be flexibly switched in the proposed scheme. Third, a wide range of experiments are conducted to further compare the weighting schemes in different modes. On the basis of these works, reasonable answers are obtained. Factors including prior knowledge and data characteristics determine which samples should be learned first in a learning task.

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