Trustworthy Transfer Learning: Transferability and Trustworthiness

Jun Wu, Jingrui He

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Deep transfer learning investigates the transfer of knowledge or information from a source domain to a relevant target domain via deep neural networks. In this tutorial, we dive into understanding deep transfer learning from the perspective of knowledge transferability and trustworthiness (e.g., privacy, robustness, fairness, transparency, etc.). To this end, we provide a comprehensive review of state-of-the-art theoretical analysis and algorithms for deep transfer learning. To be specific, we start by introducing the concepts of transferability and trustworthiness in the context of deep transfer learning. Then we summarize recent theories and algorithms for understanding knowledge transferability from two aspects: (1) IID transferability: the samples within each domain are independent and identically distributed (e.g., individual images), and (2) non-IID transferability: The samples within each domain are interdependent (e.g., connected nodes within a graph). In addition to knowledge transferability, we also review the impact of trustworthiness on deep transfer learning, e.g., whether the transferred knowledge is adversarially robust or algorithmically fair, how to transfer the knowledge under privacy-preserving constraints, etc. Finally, we highlight the open questions and future directions for understanding deep transfer learning in real-world applications. We believe this tutorial can benefit researchers and practitioners by rethinking the trade-off between knowledge transferability and trustworthiness in developing trustworthy transfer learning systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKDD 2023 - Proceedings of the 29th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9798400701030
StatePublished - Aug 6 2023
Event29th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2023 - Long Beach, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2023Aug 10 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining


Conference29th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach


  • domain adaptation
  • fairness
  • privacy
  • robustness
  • transfer learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems


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