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Active Test-Time Adaptation: Theoretical Analyses and An Algorithm

Shurui Gui · Xiner Li · Shuiwang Ji

Halle B #253
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Test-time adaptation (TTA) addresses distribution shifts for streaming test data in unsupervised settings. Currently, most TTA methods can only deal with minor shifts and rely heavily on heuristic and empirical studies. To advance TTA under domain shifts, we propose the novel problem setting of active test-time adaptation (ATTA) that integrates active learning within the fully TTA setting. We provide a learning theory analysis, demonstrating that incorporating limited labeled test instances enhances overall performances across test domains with a theoretical guarantee. We also present a sample entropy balancing for implementing ATTA while avoiding catastrophic forgetting (CF). We introduce a simple yet effective ATTA algorithm, known as SimATTA, using real-time sample selection techniques. Extensive experimental results confirm consistency with our theoretical analyses and show that the proposed ATTA method yields substantial performance improvements over TTA methods while maintaining efficiency and shares similar effectiveness to the more demanding active domain adaptation (ADA) methods. Our code is available at

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