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Connecting the Dots with Landmarks: Discriminatively Learning Domain-Invariant Features for Unsupervised Domain Adaptation

Boqing Gong, Kristen Grauman, Fei Sha
JMLR W&CP 28 (1) : 222–230, 2013


Learning domain-invariant features is of vital importance to unsupervised domain adaptation, where classifiers trained on the source domain need to be adapted to a different target domain for which no labeled examples are available. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for learning such features. The central idea is to exploit the existence of landmarks, which are a subset of labeled data instances in the source domain that are distributed most similarly to the target domain. Our approach automatically discovers the landmarks and use them to bridge the source to the target by constructing provably easier auxiliary domain adaptation tasks. The solutions of those auxiliary tasks form the basis to compose invariant features for the original task. We show how this composition can be optimized discriminatively without requiring labels from the target domain. We validate the method on standard benchmark datasets for visual object recognition and sentiment analysis of text. Empirical results show the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art significantly.

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