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].


Vector-Space Markov Random Fields via Exponential Families

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We present Vector-Space Markov Random Fields (VS-MRFs), a novel class of undirected graphical models where each variable can belong to an arbitrary vector space. VS-MRFs generalize a recent line of work on scalar-valued, uni-parameter exponential family and mixed graphical models, thereby greatly broadening the class of exponential families available (e.g., allowing multinomial and Dirichlet distributions). Specifically, VS-MRFs are the joint graphical model distributions where the node-conditional distributions belong to generic exponential families with general vector space domains. We also present a sparsistent $M$-estimator for learning our class of MRFs that recovers the correct set of edges with high probability. We validate our approach via a set of synthetic data experiments as well as a real-world case study of over four million foods from the popular diet tracking app MyFitnessPal. Our results demonstrate that our algorithm performs well empirically and that VS-MRFs are capable of capturing and highlighting interesting structure in complex, real-world data. All code for our algorithm is open source and publicly available.


Decision Trees and Political Party Classification

#artificialintelligence

Last time we investigated the k-nearest-neighbors algorithm and the underlying idea that one can learn a classification rule by copying the known classification of nearby data points. This required that we view our data as sitting inside a metric space; that is, we imposed a kind of geometric structure on our data. One glaring problem is that there may be no reasonable way to do this. While we mentioned scaling issues and provided a number of possible metrics in our primer, a more common problem is that the data simply isn't numeric. For instance, a poll of US citizens might ask the respondent to select which of a number of issues he cares most about. There could be 50 choices, and there is no reasonable way to assign these numerical values so that all are equidistant in the resulting metric space. Another issue is that the quality of the data could be bad. For instance, there may be missing values for some attributes (e.g., a respondent may neglect to answer one or more questions).


Active Nearest-Neighbor Learning in Metric Spaces

Neural Information Processing Systems

We propose a pool-based non-parametric active learning algorithm for general metric spaces, called MArgin Regularized Metric Active Nearest Neighbor (MARMANN), which outputs a nearest-neighbor classifier. We give prediction error guarantees that depend on the noisy-margin properties of the input sample, and are competitive with those obtained by previously proposed passive learners. We prove that the label complexity of MARMANN is significantly lower than that of any passive learner with similar error guarantees. Our algorithm is based on a generalized sample compression scheme and a new label-efficient active model-selection procedure. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Extrofitting: Enriching Word Representation and its Vector Space with Semantic Lexicons

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We propose post-processing method for enriching not only word representation but also its vector space using semantic lexicons, which we call extrofitting. The method consists of 3 steps as follows: (i) Expanding 1 or more dimension(s) on all the word vectors, filling with their representative value. (ii) Transferring semantic knowledge by averaging each representative values of synonyms and filling them in the expanded dimension(s). These two steps make representations of the synonyms close together. (iii) Projecting the vector space using Linear Discriminant Analysis, which eliminates the expanded dimension(s) with semantic knowledge. When experimenting with GloVe, we find that our method outperforms Faruqui's retrofitting on some of word similarity task. We also report further analysis on our method in respect to word vector dimensions, vocabulary size as well as other well-known pretrained word vectors (e.g., Word2Vec, Fasttext).