Concept Drift-Tolerant Transfer Learning in Dynamic Environments

Cuie Yang, Yiu Ming Cheung*, Jinliang Ding*, Kay Chen Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Existing transfer learning methods that focus on problems in stationary environments are not usually applicable to dynamic environments, where concept drift may occur. To the best of our knowledge, the concept drift-tolerant transfer learning (CDTL), whose major challenge is the need to adapt the target model and knowledge of source domains to the changing environments, has yet to be well explored in the literature. This article, therefore, proposes a hybrid ensemble approach to deal with the CDTL problem provided that data in the target domain are generated in a streaming chunk-by-chunk manner from nonstationary environments. At each time step, a class-wise weighted ensemble is presented to adapt the model of target domains to new environments. It assigns a weight vector for each classifier generated from the previous data chunks to allow each class of the current data leveraging historical knowledge independently. Then, a domain-wise weighted ensemble is introduced to combine the source and target models to select useful knowledge of each domain. The source models are updated with the source instances performed by the proposed adaptive weighted CORrelation ALignment (AW-CORAL). AW-CORAL iteratively minimizes domain discrepancy meanwhile decreases the effect of unrelated source instances. In this way, positive knowledge of source domains can be potentially promoted while negative knowledge is reduced. Empirical studies on synthetic and real benchmark data sets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3857-3871
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
Issue number8
Early online date10 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence

User-Defined Keywords

  • Concept drift
  • ensemble learning
  • negative transfer
  • positive transfer
  • transfer learning


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