Kim, Kwang I., Steinke, Florian, Hein, Matthias

Semi-supervised regression based on the graph Laplacian suffers from the fact that the solution is biased towards a constant and the lack of extrapolating power. Outgoing from these observations we propose to use the second-order Hessian energy for semi-supervised regression which overcomes both of these problems, in particular, if the data lies on or close to a low-dimensional submanifold in the feature space, the Hessian energy prefers functions which vary ``linearly with respect to the natural parameters in the data. This property makes it also particularly suited for the task of semi-supervised dimensionality reduction where the goal is to find the natural parameters in the data based on a few labeled points. The experimental result suggest that our method is superior to semi-supervised regression using Laplacian regularization and standard supervised methods and is particularly suited for semi-supervised dimensionality reduction.

Wasserman, Larry, Lafferty, John D.

Semi-supervised methods use unlabeled data in addition to labeled data to construct predictors.While existing semi-supervised methods have shown some promising empirical performance, their development has been based largely based on heuristics. In this paper we study semi-supervised learning from the viewpoint of minimax theory. Our first result shows that some common methods based on regularization using graph Laplacians do not lead to faster minimax rates of convergence. Thus,the estimators that use the unlabeled data do not have smaller risk than the estimators that use only labeled data. We then develop several new approaches that provably lead to improved performance. The statistical tools of minimax analysis are thus used to offer some new perspective on the problem of semi-supervised learning.

Lin, Binbin, Zhang, Chiyuan, He, Xiaofei

This paper studies the problem of semi-supervised learning from the vector field perspective. Many of the existing work use the graph Laplacian to ensure the smoothness of the prediction function on the data manifold. However, beyond smoothness, it is suggested by recent theoretical work that we should ensure second order smoothness for achieving faster rates of convergence for semi-supervised regression problems. To achieve this goal, we show that the second order smoothness measures the linearity of the function, and the gradient field of a linear function has to be a parallel vector field. Consequently, we propose to find a function which minimizes the empirical error, and simultaneously requires its gradient field to be as parallel as possible. We give a continuous objective function on the manifold and discuss how to discretize it by using random points. The discretized optimization problem turns out to be a sparse linear system which can be solved very efficiently. The experimental results have demonstrated the effectiveness of our proposed approach.

Lu, Zhiwu (Renmin University of China) | Gao, Xin (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) | Wang, Liwei (Peking University) | Wen, Ji-Rong (Renmin University of China) | Huang, Songfang (IBM China Research Lab)

This paper presents a large-scale sparse coding algorithm to deal with the challenging problem of noise-robust semi-supervised learning over very large data with only few noisy initial labels. By giving an L1-norm formulation of Laplacian regularization directly based upon the manifold structure of the data, we transform noise-robust semi-supervised learning into a generalized sparse coding problem so that noise reduction can be imposed upon the noisy initial labels. Furthermore, to keep the scalability of noise-robust semi-supervised learning over very large data, we make use of both nonlinear approximation and dimension reduction techniques to solve this generalized sparse coding problem in linear time and space complexity. Finally, we evaluate the proposed algorithm in the challenging task of large-scale semi-supervised image classification with only few noisy initial labels. The experimental results on several benchmark image datasets show the promising performance of the proposed algorithm.

We first construct an unsupervised discriminative kernel based on discriminant analysis (Fukunaga, 1990), and then use it to derive two specific algorithms, Semi-Supervised Discriminative Regularization (SSDR) and Semi-parametric Discriminative Semi-supervised Classification (SDSC) to realize our strategy.