Keywords: [ Density ratio estimation ] [ Early classification ] [ Sequential probability ratio test ]

Abstract:
Classifying sequential data as early and as accurately as possible is a challenging yet critical problem, especially when a sampling cost is high. One algorithm that achieves this goal is the sequential probability ratio test (SPRT), which is known as Bayes-optimal: it can keep the expected number of data samples as small as possible, given the desired error upper-bound. However, the original SPRT makes two critical assumptions that limit its application in real-world scenarios: (i) samples are independently and identically distributed, and (ii) the likelihood of the data being derived from each class can be calculated precisely. Here, we propose the SPRT-TANDEM, a deep neural network-based SPRT algorithm that overcomes the above two obstacles. The SPRT-TANDEM sequentially estimates the log-likelihood ratio of two alternative hypotheses by leveraging a novel Loss function for Log-Likelihood Ratio estimation (LLLR) while allowing correlations up to $N (\in \mathbb{N})$ preceding samples. In tests on one original and two public video databases, Nosaic MNIST, UCF101, and SiW, the SPRT-TANDEM achieves statistically significantly better classification accuracy than other baseline classifiers, with a smaller number of data samples. The code and Nosaic MNIST are publicly available at https://github.com/TaikiMiyagawa/SPRT-TANDEM.