BCCNet: Bayesian classifier combination neural network

Olga Isupova, Yunpeng Li, Danil Kuzin, Stephen J Roberts, Katherine Willis, Steven Reece

Research output: Working paper / PreprintPreprint

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Machine learning research for developing countries can demonstrate clear sustainable impact by delivering actionable and timely information to in-country government organisations (GOs) and NGOs in response to their critical information requirements. We co-create products with UK and in-country commercial, GO and NGO partners to ensure the machine learning algorithms address appropriate user needs whether for tactical decision making or evidence-based policy decisions. In one particular case, we developed and deployed a novel algorithm, BCCNet, to quickly process large quantities of unstructured data to prevent and respond to natural disasters. Crowdsourcing provides an efficient mechanism to generate labels from unstructured data to prime machine learning algorithms for large scale data analysis. However, these labels are often imperfect with qualities varying among different citizen scientists, which prohibits their direct use with many state-of-the-art machine learning techniques. We describe BCCNet, a framework that simultaneously aggregates biased and contradictory labels from the crowd and trains an automatic classifier to process new data. Our case studies, mosquito sound detection for malaria prevention and damage detection for disaster response, show the efficacy of our method in the challenging context of developing world applications.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Presented at NeurIPS 2018 Workshop on Machine Learning for the Developing World


  • stat.ML
  • cs.LG


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