rnew icon6Grab Deal : Flat 30% off on live classes + 2 free self-paced courses! - SCHEDULE CALL rnew icon7


What is Semi Supervised Classification in Machine Learning?


In the field of data science, classification is a common task that involves categorizing data into different classes or groups. Supervised classification is one approach where labeled training data is used to train a model to classify new, unseen data. However, this method requires a large amount of labeled data which can be expensive and time-consuming to obtain. This is where a semi-supervised classification is an alternative approach that utilizes labeled and unlabeled data for training models. Let's dive more into the topic of semi-supervised classification and learn more about its importance in data science and key takeaways. You should check out the data science tutorial guide to brush up your basic concepts.  This blog post will explore what semi-supervised classification entails and provide some examples.

What is Semi Supervised Clustering?

Cluster analysis is a data-partitioning technique that puts together sets of data that have similarities while being distinct. Unsupervised approaches are typically used while performing clustering. Finding patterns of similarity and dissimilarity among data points can be done without prior knowledge of the relationships among the data items.

However, there are cases where at least part of the data's cluster labels, outcome variables, or information about linkages are already known. To solve this problem, we may use a technique called semi-supervised clustering. Just like semi supervised machine learning, semi supervised clustering makes use of both labeled and unlabeled data to categorize new data.

What is Semi-Supervised Classification?

Semi-supervised classification refers to the process of using both labeled and unlabeled datasets for training machine learning models. The goal is to leverage the information contained within the unlabeled dataset while utilizing the limited number of labels available in supervised learning scenarios.

The idea behind semisupervised learning stems from the fact that obtaining labeled datasets can be very costly and time-consuming, especially when dealing with complex problems such as image recognition or natural language processing (NLP). By leveraging large amounts of unlabelled data alongside small labeled sets, it becomes possible to build more robust models with better generalization capabilities.

Differences Between Supervised Classification And Uncontrolled Learning

Understanding the difference between supervised and unsupervised learning is helpful for grasping semi-supervised learning.

Learning from data is essential for any machine learning model or algorithm. Models for supervised learning are often trained using labeled datasets. However, coming across sufficient amounts of labeled data for training can be challenging. Because of this, labeled data is used to make predictions about the label and then reduce the difference between the forecast and the label.Because unsupervised models learn to recognize patterns and trends or to categorize data without labeling it, unsupervised learning does not require labeled data. Since most data isn't labeled, this expands the pool of information that may be used for unsupervised learning.

How Does Semi Supervised Learning Work?

Semisupervised learning combines unsupervised methods like clustering or dimensionality reduction techniques with supervised algorithms such as decision trees or neural networks. The first step involves partitioning all available samples into two categories; those with known labels (supervision) and those without labels (unsupervision).

Next, unsupervised algorithms are applied to these unlabelled samples so as to extract meaningful features from them, which are then used together with labeled samples during the model-building phase.During training, the algorithm predicts class membership based on the available labels and features extracted from unlabelled data. The algorithm then updates its model based on how well it predicts class membership for labeled and unlabelled samples.

Semi Supervised Classification

Both labeled and unlabeled data are utilized in the process of building a classifier using the semi-supervised classification strategy.The labeled data set may be thought of as Xl = (x1, y1),..., xl, yl), while the unlabeled data set can be thought of as Xu = (xl+1,...,xn). This is a useful way to think about the data sets. This article will describe several ways this educational style can be used.


When it comes to classification that is just semi-supervised, self-training is the minimum required. At first, a classifier is built by employing the annotated data as a building block. The classifier will then try to ascribe labels to the raw data. The tuple whose label prediction is the most certain at each iteration is the one that is added to the pool of labeled data. The method is uncomplicated, but there is a risk that it will encourage the development of undesirable routines.

  1.  Make a decision on a learning method, such as the Bayesian classification system. In order to build the classifier, use the data that has been tagged (Xl).
  2.  Xu, you must apply the classifier to the raw data to assign labels.
  3. Find the tuple (x, Xu) that is the most trustworthy (most confident prediction). Place it in the XL section together with the label that is anticipated for it.
  4.  Repeated Activity (i.e., retrain the classifier using the augmented labeled data set).

Co-Training is another kind of semi-supervised classification. In this method, two or more classifiers teach one another about the categorized data. Each learner uses their own one-of-a-kind set of attributes for each tuple, which should ideally not be connected to one another. Take, for instance, the data on a web page as an illustration; one set of features may be tied to the images on the website, whilst another set of features may be related to the text on the page. Every one of those sets in its entirety.

  1.  The labeled data, which Xl denotes, you need to define two separate feature sets that do not overlap one another.
  2.  you will use the labeled data to train two classifiers, f1, and f2, with f1 being trained with one of the feature sets and f2 being trained with the other.
  3. using the first and second fs as dividers, separate Xu into two groups.
  4. In the collection of labeled data used by f2, for which x Xu, include the pair with the highest degree of confidence, namely, (x,f1(x)). f2 will use this pair to determine which x values are significant. Add the most confident (x,f2(x)) estimate to the collection of labeled data utilized by f1.
  5.  Repeat.

Let's pretend we do this and train two classifiers, f1 and f2, where each is trained on a subset of the feature set. Then, the class labels for Xu's unlabeled data are predicted using f1 and f2. As a result, the two classifiers are able to learn from one another, as the tuple with the highest confidence prediction from f1 is added to the collection of labeled data for f2 (along with its label).

Similarly, we append the tuple with the highest confidence prediction from f2 to our f1 annotated data collection. The procedure has been outlined above. When compared to self-training, co-training is more forgiving of slip-ups. One potential issue is that it may not be feasible to partition the features into independent and class-conditional sets, which is a precondition for their use.Some methods of semi-supervision can be used for learning. For instance, the combined probability distribution of characteristics and labels can be modeled. As such, the labels can be disregarded while working with the unlabeled data. If you want to increase your model's reliability, use the EM algorithm. Additionally, methods based on support vector machines have been presented.

Semi Supervised Learning Examples

Python example of semi supervised text classification code:  

import numpy as np

from sklearn.datasets import fetch_20newsgroups
from sklearn.feature_extraction.text import CountVectorizer
from sklearn.feature_extraction.text import TfidfTransformer
from sklearn.preprocessing import FunctionTransformer
from sklearn.linear_model import SGDClassifier
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
from sklearn.pipeline import Pipeline
from sklearn.semi_supervised import SelfTrainingClassifier
from sklearn.semi_supervised import LabelSpreading
from sklearn.metrics import f1_score

# Loading dataset containing first five categories
data = fetch_20newsgroups(
print("%d documents" % len(data.filenames))
print("%d categories" % len(data.target_names))

# Parameters
sdg_params = dict(alpha=1e-5, penalty="l2", loss="log_loss")
vectorizer_params = dict(ngram_range=(1, 2), min_df=5, max_df=0.8)

# Supervised Pipeline
pipeline = Pipeline(
        ("vect", CountVectorizer(**vectorizer_params)),
        ("tfidf", TfidfTransformer()),
        ("clf", SGDClassifier(**sdg_params)),
# SelfTraining Pipeline
st_pipeline = Pipeline(
        ("vect", CountVectorizer(**vectorizer_params)),
        ("tfidf", TfidfTransformer()),
        ("clf", SelfTrainingClassifier(SGDClassifier(**sdg_params), verbose=True)),
# LabelSpreading Pipeline
ls_pipeline = Pipeline(
        ("vect", CountVectorizer(**vectorizer_params)),
        ("tfidf", TfidfTransformer()),
        # LabelSpreading does not support dense matrices
        ("toarray", FunctionTransformer(lambda x: x.toarray())),
        ("clf", LabelSpreading()),

def eval_and_print_metrics(clf, X_train, y_train, X_test, y_test):
    print("Number of training samples:", len(X_train))
    print("Unlabeled samples in training set:", sum(1 for x in y_train if x == -1))
    clf.fit(X_train, y_train)
    y_pred = clf.predict(X_test)
        "Micro-averaged F1 score on test set: %0.3f"
        % f1_score(y_test, y_pred, average="micro")
    print("-" * 10)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    X, y = data.data, data.target
    X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y)

    print("Supervised SGDClassifier on 100% of the data:")
    eval_and_print_metrics(pipeline, X_train, y_train, X_test, y_test)

    # select a mask of 20% of the train dataset
    y_mask = np.random.rand(len(y_train)) < 0.2

    # X_20 and y_20 are the subset of the train dataset indicated by the mask
    X_20, y_20 = map(
        list, zip(*((x, y) for x, y, m in zip(X_train, y_train, y_mask) if m))
    print("Supervised SGDClassifier on 20% of the training data:")
    eval_and_print_metrics(pipeline, X_20, y_20, X_test, y_test)

    # set the non-masked subset to be unlabeled
    y_train[~y_mask] = -1
    print("SelfTrainingClassifier on 20% of the training data (rest is unlabeled):")
    eval_and_print_metrics(st_pipeline, X_train, y_train, X_test, y_test)

    print("LabelSpreading on 20% of the data (rest is unlabeled):")
    eval_and_print_metrics(ls_pipeline, X_train, y_train, X_test, y_test)

Semi-Supervised Learning Applications

Semi-supervised learning has been applied to various fields such as image recognition, natural language processing, speech recognition, anomaly detection, and more. Here are some applications of semi supervised learning examples:

  1. Image Recognition: In this application, a large set of unlabeled images is used alongside a small labeled dataset to train an image classifier. The unsupervised algorithms extract meaningful features from the unlabelled images, which are combined with labeled data during the training phase.
  2. Natural Language Processing (NLP): Semi-supervised learning can be used in NLP tasks such as sentiment analysis or text classification where large amounts of unlabeled text data exist, but only a few labeled datasets are available.
  3. Anomaly Detection: This involves identifying rare events or outliers within datasets that may indicate fraud or other unusual behavior. Semi-supervised methods have been effective at detecting anomalies by leveraging information contained within labeled and unlabeled datasets.


Semi-supervised classification is an alternative approach to supervised learning that utilizes labeled and unlabeled datasets to train machine learning models. By combining unsupervised techniques with supervised algorithms, semi-supervised methods help improve generalization capabilities while reducing the need for expensive labeling processes. With numerous successful applications across different domains like image recognition, NLP, etc., it's clear that semi-supervised approaches will continue playing an important role in advancing machine learning research going forward. Understanding semi supervised classification in machine learning begins with understanding data science; you can get an insight into the same through our data science training.   

Data Science Training For Administrators & Developers

  • No cost for a Demo Class
  • Industry Expert as your Trainer
  • Available as per your schedule
  • Customer Support Available
cta9 icon


Q.1. What are Supervised and Unsupervised Classifications?

Ans. Supervised classification is a machine learning technique where the algorithm learns from labeled training data to classify new, unseen data. On the other hand, unsupervised classification involves clustering or grouping data without prior knowledge or labels.

Q.2. What is an Example of Supervised Classification?

Ans. An example of supervised classification is spam email detection. By training a classifier with a labeled dataset of emails (spam or not spam), the algorithm can learn patterns and features to accurately classify new, unseen emails as either spam or legitimate.

Q.3. What is Supervised Classification Used for?

Ans. Supervised classification is widely used in various domains, including image recognition, sentiment analysis, fraud detection, and medical diagnosis. It allows data scientists to build models to classify and predict outcomes based on known patterns and labeled data.

Q.4. How can I learn supervised classification? Is there a Data Scientist Course Online?

Ans. Yes, there are several online data science courses available that cover supervised classification techniques. These courses typically provide a comprehensive understanding of machine learning algorithms, including supervised classification, and teach you how to apply them to real-world problems.

Q.5. Can Semi-Supervised Learning be Considered a Form of Supervised Classification?

Ans. Semi-supervised learning combines aspects of both supervised and unsupervised learning. While it utilizes labeled data for training, it also leverages unlabeled data to improve classification accuracy. So, while it shares similarities with supervised classification, it is considered a distinct approach that extends beyond the traditional supervised learning paradigm.

Trending Courses

Cyber Security icon

Cyber Security

  • Introduction to cybersecurity
  • Cryptography and Secure Communication 
  • Cloud Computing Architectural Framework
  • Security Architectures and Models
Cyber Security icon1

Upcoming Class

3 days 19 Jul 2024

QA icon


  • Introduction and Software Testing
  • Software Test Life Cycle
  • Automation Testing and API Testing
  • Selenium framework development using Testing
QA icon1

Upcoming Class

3 days 19 Jul 2024

Salesforce icon


  • Salesforce Configuration Introduction
  • Security & Automation Process
  • Sales & Service Cloud
  • Apex Programming, SOQL & SOSL
Salesforce icon1

Upcoming Class

-0 day 16 Jul 2024

Business Analyst icon

Business Analyst

  • BA & Stakeholders Overview
  • BPMN, Requirement Elicitation
  • BA Tools & Design Documents
  • Enterprise Analysis, Agile & Scrum
Business Analyst icon1

Upcoming Class

4 days 20 Jul 2024

MS SQL Server icon

MS SQL Server

  • Introduction & Database Query
  • Programming, Indexes & System Functions
  • SSIS Package Development Procedures
  • SSRS Report Design
MS SQL Server icon1

Upcoming Class

4 days 20 Jul 2024

Data Science icon

Data Science

  • Data Science Introduction
  • Hadoop and Spark Overview
  • Python & Intro to R Programming
  • Machine Learning
Data Science icon1

Upcoming Class

3 days 19 Jul 2024

DevOps icon


  • Intro to DevOps
  • GIT and Maven
  • Jenkins & Ansible
  • Docker and Cloud Computing
DevOps icon1

Upcoming Class

7 days 23 Jul 2024

Hadoop icon


  • Architecture, HDFS & MapReduce
  • Unix Shell & Apache Pig Installation
  • HIVE Installation & User-Defined Functions
  • SQOOP & Hbase Installation
Hadoop icon1

Upcoming Class

3 days 19 Jul 2024

Python icon


  • Features of Python
  • Python Editors and IDEs
  • Data types and Variables
  • Python File Operation
Python icon1

Upcoming Class

11 days 27 Jul 2024

Artificial Intelligence icon

Artificial Intelligence

  • Components of AI
  • Categories of Machine Learning
  • Recurrent Neural Networks
  • Recurrent Neural Networks
Artificial Intelligence icon1

Upcoming Class

3 days 19 Jul 2024

Machine Learning icon

Machine Learning

  • Introduction to Machine Learning & Python
  • Machine Learning: Supervised Learning
  • Machine Learning: Unsupervised Learning
Machine Learning icon1

Upcoming Class

38 days 23 Aug 2024

 Tableau icon


  • Introduction to Tableau Desktop
  • Data Transformation Methods
  • Configuring tableau server
  • Integration with R & Hadoop
 Tableau icon1

Upcoming Class

3 days 19 Jul 2024