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Kernel Methods: Instructional Materials


Efficiency versus Convergence of Boolean Kernels for On-Line Learning Algorithms

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

The paper studies machine learning problems where each example is described using a set of Boolean features and where hypotheses are represented by linear threshold elements. One method of increasing the expressiveness of learned hypotheses in this context is to expand the feature set to include conjunctions of basic features. This can be done explicitly or where possible by using a kernel function. Focusing on the well known Perceptron and Winnow algorithms, the paper demonstrates a tradeoff between the computational efficiency with which the algorithm can be run over the expanded feature space and the generalization ability of the corresponding learning algorithm. We first describe several kernel functions which capture either limited forms of conjunctions or all conjunctions. We show that these kernels can be used to efficiently run the Perceptron algorithm over a feature space of exponentially many conjunctions; however we also show that using such kernels, the Perceptron algorithm can provably make an exponential number of mistakes even when learning simple functions. We then consider the question of whether kernel functions can analogously be used to run the multiplicative-update Winnow algorithm over an expanded feature space of exponentially many conjunctions. Known upper bounds imply that the Winnow algorithm can learn Disjunctive Normal Form (DNF) formulae with a polynomial mistake bound in this setting. However, we prove that it is computationally hard to simulate Winnow's behavior for learning DNF over such a feature set. This implies that the kernel functions which correspond to running Winnow for this problem are not efficiently computable, and that there is no general construction that can run Winnow with kernels.


Efficiency versus Convergence of Boolean Kernels for On-Line Learning Algorithms

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study online learning in Boolean domains using kernels which capture featureexpansions equivalent to using conjunctions over basic features. Wedemonstrate a tradeoff between the computational efficiency with which these kernels can be computed and the generalization ability ofthe resulting classifier. We first describe several kernel functions which capture either limited forms of conjunctions or all conjunctions. We show that these kernels can be used to efficiently run the Perceptron algorithmover an exponential number of conjunctions; however we also prove that using such kernels the Perceptron algorithm can make an exponential number of mistakes even when learning simple functions. Wealso consider an analogous use of kernel functions to run the multiplicative-update Winnow algorithm over an expanded feature space of exponentially many conjunctions. While known upper bounds imply that Winnow can learn DNF formulae with a polynomial mistake bound in this setting, we prove that it is computationally hard to simulate Winnow's behaviorfor learning DNF over such a feature set, and thus that such kernel functions for Winnow are not efficiently computable.


Efficiency versus Convergence of Boolean Kernels for On-Line Learning Algorithms

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study online learning in Boolean domains using kernels which capture feature expansions equivalent to using conjunctions over basic features. We demonstrate a tradeoff between the computational efficiency with which these kernels can be computed and the generalization ability of the resulting classifier. We first describe several kernel functions which capture either limited forms of conjunctions or all conjunctions. We show that these kernels can be used to efficiently run the Perceptron algorithm over an exponential number of conjunctions; however we also prove that using such kernels the Perceptron algorithm can make an exponential number of mistakes even when learning simple functions. We also consider an analogous use of kernel functions to run the multiplicative-update Winnow algorithm over an expanded feature space of exponentially many conjunctions. While known upper bounds imply that Winnow can learn DNF formulae with a polynomial mistake bound in this setting, we prove that it is computationally hard to simulate Winnow's behavior for learning DNF over such a feature set, and thus that such kernel functions for Winnow are not efficiently computable.


Efficiency versus Convergence of Boolean Kernels for On-Line Learning Algorithms

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study online learning in Boolean domains using kernels which capture feature expansions equivalent to using conjunctions over basic features. We demonstrate a tradeoff between the computational efficiency with which these kernels can be computed and the generalization ability of the resulting classifier. We first describe several kernel functions which capture either limited forms of conjunctions or all conjunctions. We show that these kernels can be used to efficiently run the Perceptron algorithm over an exponential number of conjunctions; however we also prove that using such kernels the Perceptron algorithm can make an exponential number of mistakes even when learning simple functions. We also consider an analogous use of kernel functions to run the multiplicative-update Winnow algorithm over an expanded feature space of exponentially many conjunctions. While known upper bounds imply that Winnow can learn DNF formulae with a polynomial mistake bound in this setting, we prove that it is computationally hard to simulate Winnow's behavior for learning DNF over such a feature set, and thus that such kernel functions for Winnow are not efficiently computable.