Controlled Sparsity Kernel Learning

Dinesh Govindaraj, Raman Sankaran, Sreedal Menon, Chiranjib Bhattacharyya

Multiple Kernel Learning(MKL) on Support Vector Machines(SVMs) has been a popular front of research in recent times due to its success in application problems like Object Categorization. This success is due to the fact that MKL has the ability to choose from a variety of feature kernels to identify the optimal kernel combination. But the initial formulation of MKL was only able to select the best of the features and misses out many other informative kernels presented. To overcome this, the Lp norm based formulation was proposed by Kloft et. al. This formulation is capable of choosing a non-sparse set of kernels through a control parameter p. Unfortunately, the parameter p does not have a direct meaning to the number of kernels selected. We have observed that stricter control over the number of kernels selected gives us an edge over these techniques in terms of accuracy of classification and also helps us to fine tune the algorithms to the time requirements at hand. In this work, we propose a Controlled Sparsity Kernel Learning (CSKL) formulation that can strictly control the number of kernels which we wish to select. The CSKL formulation introduces a parameter t which directly corresponds to the number of kernels selected. It is important to note that a search in t space is finite and fast as compared to p. We have also provided an efficient Reduced Gradient Descent based algorithm to solve the CSKL formulation, which is proven to converge. Through our experiments on the Caltech101 Object Categorization dataset, we have also shown that one can achieve better accuracies than the previous formulations through the right choice of t.

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