S2OSC: A Holistic Semi-Supervised Approach for Open Set Classification

Yang Yang, Hongchen Wei, Zhen Qiang Sun, Guang Yu Li, Yuanchun Zhou, Hui Xiong, Jian Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Open set classification (OSC) tackles the problem of determining whether the data are in-class or out-of-class during inference, when only provided with a set of in-class examples at training time. Traditional OSC methods usually train discriminative or generative models with the owned in-class data, and then utilize the pre-trained models to classify test data directly. However, these methods always suffer from the embedding confusion problem, i.e., partial out-of-class instances are mixed with in-class ones of similar semantics, making it difficult to classify. To solve this problem, we unify semi-supervised learning to develop a novel OSC algorithm, S2OSC, which incorporates out-of-class instances filtering and model re-training in a transductive manner. In detail, given a pool of newly coming test data, S2OSC firstly filters the mostly distinct out-of-class instances using the pre-trained model, and annotates super-class for them. Then, S2OSC trains a holistic classification model by combing in-class and out-of-class labeled data with the remaining unlabeled test data in a semi-supervised paradigm. Furthermore, considering that data are usually in the streaming form in real applications, we extend S2OSC into an incremental update framework (I-S2OSC), and adopt a knowledge memory regularization to mitigate the catastrophic forgetting problem in incremental update. Despite the simplicity of proposed models, the experimental results show that S2OSC achieves state-of-the-art performance across a variety of OSC tasks, including 85.4% of F1 on CIFAR-10 with only 300 pseudo-labels. We also demonstrate how S2OSC can be expanded to incremental OSC setting effectively with streaming data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)


  • Open set classification
  • embedding confusion
  • incremental learning
  • semi-supervised learning


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