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Constrained Metric Learning Via Distance Gap Maximization

Last modified: 2010-07-03

#### Abstract

Vectored data frequently occur in a variety of fields, which are easy to handle since they can be mathematically abstracted as points residing in a Euclidean space. An appropriate distance metric in the data space is quite demanding for a great number of applications. In this paper, we pose robust and tractable metric learning under pairwise constraints that are expressed as similarity judgements between data pairs. The major features of our approach include: 1) it maximizes the gap between the average squared distance among dissimilar pairs and the average squared distance among similar pairs; 2) it is capable of propagating similar constraints to all data pairs; and 3) it is easy to implement in contrast to the existing approaches using expensive optimization such as semidefinite programming. Our constrained metric learning approach has widespread applicability without being limited to particular backgrounds. Quantitative experiments are performed for classification and retrieval tasks, uncovering the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

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