SAAL: Sharpness-Aware Active Learning

Yoon Yeong Kim, Youngjae Cho, Joon Ho Jang, Byeonghu Na, Yeongmin Kim, Kyungwoo Song, Wanmo Kang, Il Chul Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


While deep neural networks play significant roles in many research areas, they are also prone to overfitting problems under limited data instances. To overcome overfitting, this paper introduces the first active learning method to incorporate the sharpness of loss space into the acquisition function. Specifically, our proposed method, Sharpness-Aware Active Learning (SAAL), constructs its acquisition function by selecting unlabeled instances whose perturbed loss becomes maximum. Unlike the Sharpness-Aware learning with fully-labeled datasets, we design a pseudo-labeling mechanism to anticipate the perturbed loss w.r.t. the ground-truth label, which we provide the theoretical bound for the optimization. We conduct experiments on various benchmark datasets for vision-based tasks in image classification, object detection, and domain adaptive semantic segmentation. The experimental results confirm that SAAL outperforms the baselines by selecting instances that have the potentially maximal perturbation on the loss. The code is available at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16424-16440
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of Machine Learning Research
StatePublished - 2023
Event40th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2023 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 202329 Jul 2023


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