Random Fourier Features for Asymmetric Kernels

Mingzhen He, Fan He, Fanghui Liu, Xiaolin Huang

The random Fourier features (RFFs) method is a powerful and popular technique in kernel approximation for scalability of kernel methods. The theoretical foundation of RFFs is based on the Bochner theorem that relates symmetric, positive definite (PD) functions to probability measures. This condition naturally excludes asymmetric functions with a wide range applications in practice, e.g., directed graphs, conditional probability, and asymmetric kernels. Nevertheless, understanding asymmetric functions (kernels) and its scalability via RFFs is unclear both theoretically and empirically. In this paper, we introduce a complex measure with the real and imaginary parts corresponding to four finite positive measures, which expands the application scope of the Bochner theorem. By doing so, this framework allows for handling classical symmetric, PD kernels via one positive measure; symmetric, non-positive definite kernels via signed measures; and asymmetric kernels via complex measures, thereby unifying them into a general framework by RFFs, named AsK-RFFs. Such approximation scheme via complex measures enjoys theoretical guarantees in the perspective of the uniform convergence. In algorithmic implementation, to speed up the kernel approximation process, which is expensive due to the calculation of total mass, we employ a subset-based fast estimation method that optimizes total masses on a sub-training set, which enjoys computational efficiency in high dimensions. Our AsK-RFFs method is empirically validated on several typical large-scale datasets and achieves promising kernel approximation performance, which demonstrate the effectiveness of AsK-RFFs.

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