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Multiple instance learning (MIL) is a paradigm in supervised learning that deals with the classification of collections of instances called bags. Each bag contains a number of instances from which features are extracted. The complexity of MIL is largely dependent on the number of instances in the training data set. Since we are usually confronted with a large instance space even for moderately sized real-world data sets applications, it is important to design efficient instance selection techniques to speed up the training process without compromising the performance. In this paper, we address the issue of instance selection in MIL. We propose MILIS, a novel MIL algorithm based on adaptive instance selection. We do this in an alternating optimization framework by intertwining the steps of instance selection and classifier learning in an iterative manner which is guaranteed to converge. Initial instance selection is achieved by a simple yet effective kernel density estimator on the negative instances. Experimental results demonstrate the utility and efficiency of the proposed approach as compared to the state of the art.