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Metric Learning with Multiple Kernels

Neural Information Processing Systems

Metric learning has become a very active research field. The most popular representative--Mahalanobis metric learning--can be seen as learning a linear transformation and then computing the Euclidean metric in the transformed space. Since a linear transformation might not always be appropriate for a given learning problem, kernelized versions of various metric learning algorithms exist. However, the problem then becomes finding the appropriate kernel function. Multiple kernel learning addresses this limitation by learning a linear combination of a number of predefined kernels; this approach can be also readily used in the context of multiple-source learning to fuse different data sources. Surprisingly, and despite the extensive work on multiple kernel learning for SVMs, there has been no work in the area of metric learning with multiple kernel learning. In this paper we fill this gap and present a general approach for metric learning with multiple kernel learning. Our approach can be instantiated with different metric learning algorithms provided that they satisfy some constraints. Experimental evidence suggests that our approach outperforms metric learning with an unweighted kernel combination and metric learning with cross-validation based kernel selection.


Learning Discriminative Metrics via Generative Models and Kernel Learning

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Metrics specifying distances between data points can be learned in a discriminative manner or from generative models. In this paper, we show how to unify generative and discriminative learning of metrics via a kernel learning framework. Specifically, we learn local metrics optimized from parametric generative models. These are then used as base kernels to construct a global kernel that minimizes a discriminative training criterion. We consider both linear and nonlinear combinations of local metric kernels. Our empirical results show that these combinations significantly improve performance on classification tasks. The proposed learning algorithm is also very efficient, achieving order of magnitude speedup in training time compared to previous discriminative baseline methods.


Semi-Supervised Metric Learning Using Pairwise Constraints

AAAI Conferences

Distance metric has an important role in many machine learning algorithms. Recently, metric learning for semi-supervised algorithms has received much attention. For semi-supervised clustering, usually a set of pairwise similarity and dissimilarity constraints is provided as supervisory information. Until now, various metric learning methods utilizing pairwise constraints have been proposed. The existing methods that can consider both positive (must-link) and negative (cannot-link) constraints find linear transformations or equivalently global Mahalanobis metrics. Additionally, they find metrics only according to the data points appearing in constraints (without considering other data points). In this paper, we consider the topological structure of data along with both positive and negative constraints. We propose a kernel-based metric learning method that provides a non-linear transformation. Experimental results on synthetic and real-world data sets show the effectiveness of our metric learning method.


A Survey on Metric Learning for Feature Vectors and Structured Data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The need for appropriate ways to measure the distance or similarity between data is ubiquitous in machine learning, pattern recognition and data mining, but handcrafting such good metrics for specific problems is generally difficult. This has led to the emergence of metric learning, which aims at automatically learning a metric from data and has attracted a lot of interest in machine learning and related fields for the past ten years. This survey paper proposes a systematic review of the metric learning literature, highlighting the pros and cons of each approach. We pay particular attention to Mahalanobis distance metric learning, a well-studied and successful framework, but additionally present a wide range of methods that have recently emerged as powerful alternatives, including nonlinear metric learning, similarity learning and local metric learning. Recent trends and extensions, such as semi-supervised metric learning, metric learning for histogram data and the derivation of generalization guarantees, are also covered. Finally, this survey addresses metric learning for structured data, in particular edit distance learning, and attempts to give an overview of the remaining challenges in metric learning for the years to come.


Distance Metric Learning for Kernel Machines

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Recent work in metric learning has significantly improved the state-of-the-art in k-nearest neighbor classification. Support vector machines (SVM), particularly with RBF kernels, are amongst the most popular classification algorithms that uses distance metrics to compare examples. This paper provides an empirical analysis of the efficacy of three of the most popular Mahalanobis metric learning algorithms as pre-processing for SVM training. We show that none of these algorithms generate metrics that lead to particularly satisfying improvements for SVM-RBF classification. As a remedy we introduce support vector metric learning (SVML), a novel algorithm that seamlessly combines the learning of a Mahalanobis metric with the training of the RBF-SVM parameters. We demonstrate the capabilities of SVML on nine benchmark data sets of varying sizes and difficulties. In our study, SVML outperforms all alternative state-of-the-art metric learning algorithms in terms of accuracy and establishes itself as a serious alternative to the standard Euclidean metric with model selection by cross validation.