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2011


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Optimization for Machine Learning

Sra, S., Nowozin, S., Wright, S.

pages: 494, Neural information processing series, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, December 2011 (book)

Abstract
The interplay between optimization and machine learning is one of the most important developments in modern computational science. Optimization formulations and methods are proving to be vital in designing algorithms to extract essential knowledge from huge volumes of data. Machine learning, however, is not simply a consumer of optimization technology but a rapidly evolving field that is itself generating new optimization ideas. This book captures the state of the art of the interaction between optimization and machine learning in a way that is accessible to researchers in both fields. Optimization approaches have enjoyed prominence in machine learning because of their wide applicability and attractive theoretical properties. The increasing complexity, size, and variety of today's machine learning models call for the reassessment of existing assumptions. This book starts the process of reassessment. It describes the resurgence in novel contexts of established frameworks such as first-order methods, stochastic approximations, convex relaxations, interior-point methods, and proximal methods. It also devotes attention to newer themes such as regularized optimization, robust optimization, gradient and subgradient methods, splitting techniques, and second-order methods. Many of these techniques draw inspiration from other fields, including operations research, theoretical computer science, and subfields of optimization. The book will enrich the ongoing cross-fertilization between the machine learning community and these other fields, and within the broader optimization community.

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Web [BibTex]

2011


Web [BibTex]


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Bayesian Time Series Models

Barber, D., Cemgil, A., Chiappa, S.

pages: 432, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, August 2011 (book)

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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PAC-Bayesian Analysis of Martingales and Multiarmed Bandits

Seldin, Y., Laviolette, F., Shawe-Taylor, J., Peters, J., Auer, P.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, May 2011 (techreport)

Abstract
We present two alternative ways to apply PAC-Bayesian analysis to sequences of dependent random variables. The first is based on a new lemma that enables to bound expectations of convex functions of certain dependent random variables by expectations of the same functions of independent Bernoulli random variables. This lemma provides an alternative tool to Hoeffding-Azuma inequality to bound concentration of martingale values. Our second approach is based on integration of Hoeffding-Azuma inequality with PAC-Bayesian analysis. We also introduce a way to apply PAC-Bayesian analysis in situation of limited feedback. We combine the new tools to derive PAC-Bayesian generalization and regret bounds for the multiarmed bandit problem. Although our regret bound is not yet as tight as state-of-the-art regret bounds based on other well-established techniques, our results significantly expand the range of potential applications of PAC-Bayesian analysis and introduce a new analysis tool to reinforcement learning and many other fields, where martingales and limited feedback are encountered.

ei

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Non-stationary Correction of Optical Aberrations

Schuler, C., Hirsch, M., Harmeling, S., Schölkopf, B.

(1), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany, May 2011 (techreport)

Abstract
Taking a sharp photo at several megapixel resolution traditionally relies on high grade lenses. In this paper, we present an approach to alleviate image degradations caused by imperfect optics. We rely on a calibration step to encode the optical aberrations in a space-variant point spread function and obtain a corrected image by non-stationary deconvolution. By including the Bayer array in our image formation model, we can perform demosaicing as part of the deconvolution.

ei

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Multiple Kernel Learning: A Unifying Probabilistic Viewpoint

Nickisch, H., Seeger, M.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, March 2011 (techreport)

Abstract
We present a probabilistic viewpoint to multiple kernel learning unifying well-known regularised risk approaches and recent advances in approximate Bayesian inference relaxations. The framework proposes a general objective function suitable for regression, robust regression and classification that is lower bound of the marginal likelihood and contains many regularised risk approaches as special cases. Furthermore, we derive an efficient and provably convergent optimisation algorithm.

ei

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Multiple testing, uncertainty and realistic pictures

Langovoy, M., Wittich, O.

(2011-004), EURANDOM, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, January 2011 (techreport)

Abstract
We study statistical detection of grayscale objects in noisy images. The object of interest is of unknown shape and has an unknown intensity, that can be varying over the object and can be negative. No boundary shape constraints are imposed on the object, only a weak bulk condition for the object's interior is required. We propose an algorithm that can be used to detect grayscale objects of unknown shapes in the presence of nonparametric noise of unknown level. Our algorithm is based on a nonparametric multiple testing procedure. We establish the limit of applicability of our method via an explicit, closed-form, non-asymptotic and nonparametric consistency bound. This bound is valid for a wide class of nonparametric noise distributions. We achieve this by proving an uncertainty principle for percolation on nite lattices.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Handbook of Statistical Bioinformatics

Lu, H., Schölkopf, B., Zhao, H.

pages: 627, Springer Handbooks of Computational Statistics, Springer, Berlin, Germany, 2011 (book)

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Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Nonconvex proximal splitting: batch and incremental algorithms

Sra, S.

(2), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany, 2011 (techreport)

Abstract
Within the unmanageably large class of nonconvex optimization, we consider the rich subclass of nonsmooth problems having composite objectives (this includes the extensively studied convex, composite objective problems as a special case). For this subclass, we introduce a powerful, new framework that permits asymptotically non-vanishing perturbations. In particular, we develop perturbation-based batch and incremental (online like) nonconvex proximal splitting algorithms. To our knowledge, this is the rst time that such perturbation-based nonconvex splitting algorithms are being proposed and analyzed. While the main contribution of the paper is the theoretical framework, we complement our results by presenting some empirical results on matrix factorization.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2002


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Learning with Kernels: Support Vector Machines, Regularization, Optimization, and Beyond

Schölkopf, B., Smola, A.

pages: 644, Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, December 2002, Parts of this book, including an introduction to kernel methods, can be downloaded here. (book)

Abstract
In the 1990s, a new type of learning algorithm was developed, based on results from statistical learning theory: the Support Vector Machine (SVM). This gave rise to a new class of theoretically elegant learning machines that use a central concept of SVMs-kernels—for a number of learning tasks. Kernel machines provide a modular framework that can be adapted to different tasks and domains by the choice of the kernel function and the base algorithm. They are replacing neural networks in a variety of fields, including engineering, information retrieval, and bioinformatics. Learning with Kernels provides an introduction to SVMs and related kernel methods. Although the book begins with the basics, it also includes the latest research. It provides all of the concepts necessary to enable a reader equipped with some basic mathematical knowledge to enter the world of machine learning using theoretically well-founded yet easy-to-use kernel algorithms and to understand and apply the powerful algorithms that have been developed over the last few years.

ei

Web [BibTex]

2002


Web [BibTex]


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Kernel Dependency Estimation

Weston, J., Chapelle, O., Elisseeff, A., Schölkopf, B., Vapnik, V.

(98), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, August 2002 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the learning problem of finding a dependency between a general class of objects and another, possibly different, general class of objects. The objects can be for example: vectors, images, strings, trees or graphs. Such a task is made possible by employing similarity measures in both input and output spaces using kernel functions, thus embedding the objects into vector spaces. Output kernels also make it possible to encode prior information and/or invariances in the loss function in an elegant way. We experimentally validate our approach on several tasks: mapping strings to strings, pattern recognition, and reconstruction from partial images.

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PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A compression approach to support vector model selection

von Luxburg, U., Bousquet, O., Schölkopf, B.

(101), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2002, see more detailed JMLR version (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper we investigate connections between statistical learning theory and data compression on the basis of support vector machine (SVM) model selection. Inspired by several generalization bounds we construct ``compression coefficients'' for SVMs, which measure the amount by which the training labels can be compressed by some classification hypothesis. The main idea is to relate the coding precision of this hypothesis to the width of the margin of the SVM. The compression coefficients connect well known quantities such as the radius-margin ratio R^2/rho^2, the eigenvalues of the kernel matrix and the number of support vectors. To test whether they are useful in practice we ran model selection experiments on several real world datasets. As a result we found that compression coefficients can fairly accurately predict the parameters for which the test error is minimized.

ei

[BibTex]

[BibTex]