PAC-Bayesian Theory Meets Bayesian Inference

Neural Information Processing Systems

We exhibit a strong link between frequentist PAC-Bayesian bounds and the Bayesian marginal likelihood. That is, for the negative log-likelihood loss function, we show that the minimization of PAC-Bayesian generalization bounds maximizes the Bayesian marginal likelihood. This provides an alternative explanation to the Bayesian Occam's razor criteria, under the assumption that the data is generated by an i.i.d. distribution. Moreover, as the negative log-likelihood is an unbounded loss function, we motivate and propose a PAC-Bayesian theorem tailored for the sub-gamma loss family, and we show that our approach is sound on classical Bayesian linear regression tasks.

A PAC-Bayesian Margin Bound for Linear Classifiers: Why SVMs work

Neural Information Processing Systems

We present a bound on the generalisation error of linear classifiers in terms of a refined margin quantity on the training set. The result is obtained in a PAC-Bayesian framework and is based on geometrical arguments in the space of linear classifiers. The new bound constitutes an exponential improvement of the so far tightest margin bound by Shawe-Taylor et al. [8] and scales logarithmically in the inverse margin. Even in the case of less training examples than input dimensions sufficiently large margins lead to nontrivial bound values and - for maximum margins - to a vanishing complexity term.Furthermore, the classical margin is too coarse a measure for the essential quantity that controls the generalisation error: the volume ratio between the whole hypothesis space and the subset of consistent hypotheses. The practical relevance of the result lies in the fact that the well-known support vector machine is optimal w.r.t. the new bound only if the feature vectors are all of the same length. As a consequence we recommend to use SVMs on normalised feature vectors only - a recommendation that is well supported by our numerical experiments on two benchmark data sets. 1 Introduction Linear classifiers are exceedingly popular in the machine learning community due to their straightforward applicability and high flexibility which has recently been boosted by the so-called kernel methods [13]. A natural and popular framework for the theoretical analysis of classifiers is the PAC (probably approximately correct) framework[11] which is closely related to Vapnik's work on the generalisation error [12]. For binary classifiers it turned out that the growth function is an appropriate measureof "complexity" and can tightly be upper bounded by the VC (Vapnik-Chervonenkis) dimension [14].

An Improvement to the Domain Adaptation Bound in a PAC-Bayesian context Machine Learning

This paper provides a theoretical analysis of domain adaptation based on the PAC-Bayesian theory. We propose an improvement of the previous domain adaptation bound obtained by Germain et al. in two ways. We first give another generalization bound tighter and easier to interpret. Moreover, we provide a new analysis of the constant term appearing in the bound that can be of high interest for developing new algorithmic solutions.

PAC-Bayesian Majority Vote for Late Classifier Fusion Machine Learning

A lot of attention has been devoted to multimedia indexing over the past few years. In the literature, we often consider two kinds of fusion schemes: The early fusion and the late fusion. In this paper we focus on late classifier fusion, where one combines the scores of each modality at the decision level. To tackle this problem, we investigate a recent and elegant well-founded quadratic program named MinCq coming from the Machine Learning PAC-Bayes theory. MinCq looks for the weighted combination, over a set of real-valued functions seen as voters, leading to the lowest misclassification rate, while making use of the voters' diversity. We provide evidence that this method is naturally adapted to late fusion procedure. We propose an extension of MinCq by adding an order- preserving pairwise loss for ranking, helping to improve Mean Averaged Precision measure. We confirm the good behavior of the MinCq-based fusion approaches with experiments on a real image benchmark.

PAC-Bayesian Generalization Bound on Confusion Matrix for Multi-Class Classification Machine Learning

In this work, we propose a PAC-Bayes bound for the generalization risk of the Gibbs classifier in the multi-class classification framework. The novelty of our work is the critical use of the confusion matrix of a classifier as an error measure; this puts our contribution in the line of work aiming at dealing with performance measure that are richer than mere scalar criterion such as the misclassification rate. Thanks to very recent and beautiful results on matrix concentration inequalities, we derive two bounds showing that the true confusion risk of the Gibbs classifier is upper-bounded by its empirical risk plus a term depending on the number of training examples in each class. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first PAC-Bayes bounds based on confusion matrices.