Transductive multilabel learning via label set propagation

Xiangnan Kong*, Kwok Po Ng, Zhi Hua Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


The problem of multilabel classification has attracted great interest in the last decade, where each instance can be assigned with a set of multiple class labels simultaneously. It has a wide variety of real-world applications, e.g., automatic image annotations and gene function analysis. Current research on multilabel classification focuses on supervised settings which assume existence of large amounts of labeled training data. However, in many applications, the labeling of multilabeled data is extremely expensive and time consuming, while there are often abundant unlabeled data available. In this paper, we study the problem of transductive multilabel learning and propose a novel solution, called Trasductive Multilabel Classification (TraM), to effectively assign a set of multiple labels to each instance. Different from supervised multilabel learning methods, we estimate the label sets of the unlabeled instances effectively by utilizing the information from both labeled and unlabeled data. We first formulate the transductive multilabel learning as an optimization problem of estimating label concept compositions. Then, we derive a closed-form solution to this optimization problem and propose an effective algorithm to assign label sets to the unlabeled instances. Empirical studies on several real-world multilabel learning tasks demonstrate that our TraM method can effectively boost the performance of multilabel classification by using both labeled and unlabeled data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5936063
Pages (from-to)704-719
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Data mining
  • machine learning
  • multilabel learning
  • semi-supervised learning
  • transductive learning
  • unlabeled data


Dive into the research topics of 'Transductive multilabel learning via label set propagation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this