AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Online Kernel Selection: Algorithms and Evaluations
Tianbao Yang, Mehrdad Mahdavi, Rong Jin, Jinfeng Yi, Steven C.H. Hoi

Last modified: 2012-07-14


Kernel methods have been successfully applied to many machine learning problems. Nevertheless, since the performance of kernel methods depends heavily on the type of kernels being used, identifying good kernels among a set of given kernels is important to the success of kernel methods. A straightforward approach to address this problem is cross-validation by training a separate classifier for each kernel and choosing the best kernel classifier out of them. Another approach is Multiple Kernel Learning (MKL), which aims to learn a single kernel classifier from an optimal combination of multiple kernels. However, both approaches suffer from a high computational cost in computing the full kernel matrices and in training, especially when the number of kernels or the number of training examples is very large. In this paper, we tackle this problem by proposing an efficient online kernel selection algorithm. It incrementally learns a weight for each kernel classifier. The weight for each kernel classifier can help us to select a good kernel among a set of given kernels. The proposed approach is efficient in that (i) it is an online approach and therefore avoids computing all the full kernel matrices before training; (ii) it only updates a single kernel classifier each time by a sampling technique and therefore saves time on updating kernel classifiers with poor performance; (iii) it has a theoretically guaranteed performance compared to the best kernel predictor. Empirical studies on image classification tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach for selecting a good kernel among a set of kernels.

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