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2005


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Some thoughts about Gaussian Processes

Chapelle, O.

NIPS Workshop on Open Problems in Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning, December 2005 (talk)

PDF Web [BibTex]

2005

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Popper, Falsification and the VC-dimension

Corfield, D., Schölkopf, B., Vapnik, V.

(145), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, November 2005 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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A Combinatorial View of Graph Laplacians

Huang, J.

(144), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, August 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
Discussions about different graph Laplacian, mainly normalized and unnormalized versions of graph Laplacian, have been ardent with respect to various methods in clustering and graph based semi-supervised learning. Previous research on graph Laplacians investigated their convergence properties to Laplacian operators on continuous manifolds. There is still no strong proof on convergence for the normalized Laplacian. In this paper, we analyze different variants of graph Laplacians directly from the ways solving the original graph partitioning problem. The graph partitioning problem is a well-known combinatorial NP hard optimization problem. The spectral solutions provide evidence that normalized Laplacian encodes more reasonable considerations for graph partitioning. We also provide some examples to show their differences.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Beyond Pairwise Classification and Clustering Using Hypergraphs

Zhou, D., Huang, J., Schölkopf, B.

(143), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, August 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In many applications, relationships among objects of interest are more complex than pairwise. Simply approximating complex relationships as pairwise ones can lead to loss of information. An alternative for these applications is to analyze complex relationships among data directly, without the need to first represent the complex relationships into pairwise ones. A natural way to describe complex relationships is to use hypergraphs. A hypergraph is a graph in which edges can connect more than two vertices. Thus we consider learning from a hypergraph, and develop a general framework which is applicable to classification and clustering for complex relational data. We have applied our framework to real-world web classification problems and obtained encouraging results.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Building Sparse Large Margin Classifiers

Wu, M., Schölkopf, B., BakIr, G.

The 22nd International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), August 2005 (talk)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning from Labeled and Unlabeled Data on a Directed Graph

Zhou, D.

The 22nd International Conference on Machine Learning, August 2005 (talk)

Abstract
We propose a general framework for learning from labeled and unlabeled data on a directed graph in which the structure of the graph including the directionality of the edges is considered. The time complexity of the algorithm derived from this framework is nearly linear due to recently developed numerical techniques. In the absence of labeled instances, this framework can be utilized as a spectral clustering method for directed graphs, which generalizes the spectral clustering approach for undirected graphs. We have applied our framework to real-world web classification problems and obtained encouraging results.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Machine-Learning Approaches to BCI in Tübingen

Bensch, M., Bogdan, M., Hill, N., Lal, T., Rosenstiel, W., Schölkopf, B., Schröder, M.

Brain-Computer Interface Technology, June 2005, Talk given by NJH. (talk)

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Measuring Statistical Dependence with Hilbert-Schmidt Norms

Gretton, A., Bousquet, O., Smola, A., Schölkopf, B.

(140), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, June 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
We propose an independence criterion based on the eigenspectrum of covariance operators in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs), consisting of an empirical estimate of the Hilbert-Schmidt norm of the cross-covariance operator (we term this a Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion, or HSIC). This approach has several advantages, compared with previous kernel-based independence criteria. First, the empirical estimate is simpler than any other kernel dependence test, and requires no user-defined regularisation. Second, there is a clearly defined population quantity which the empirical estimate approaches in the large sample limit, with exponential convergence guaranteed between the two: this ensures that independence tests based on HSIC do not suffer from slow learning rates. Finally, we show in the context of independent component analysis (ICA) that the performance of HSIC is competitive with that of previously published kernel-based criteria, and of other recently published ICA methods.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernel Constrained Covariance for Dependence Measurement

Gretton, A., Smola, A., Bousquet, O., Herbrich, R., Belitski, A., Augath, M., Murayama, Y., Schölkopf, B., Logothetis, N.

AISTATS, January 2005 (talk)

Abstract
We discuss reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS)-based measures of statistical dependence, with emphasis on constrained covariance (COCO), a novel criterion to test dependence of random variables. We show that COCO is a test for independence if and only if the associated RKHSs are universal. That said, no independence test exists that can distinguish dependent and independent random variables in all circumstances. Dependent random variables can result in a COCO which is arbitrarily close to zero when the source densities are highly non-smooth. All current kernel-based independence tests share this behaviour. We demonstrate exponential convergence between the population and empirical COCO. Finally, we use COCO as a measure of joint neural activity between voxels in MRI recordings of the macaque monkey, and compare the results to the mutual information and the correlation. We also show the effect of removing breathing artefacts from the MRI recording.

PostScript [BibTex]

PostScript [BibTex]


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Approximate Inference for Robust Gaussian Process Regression

Kuss, M., Pfingsten, T., Csato, L., Rasmussen, C.

(136), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
Gaussian process (GP) priors have been successfully used in non-parametric Bayesian regression and classification models. Inference can be performed analytically only for the regression model with Gaussian noise. For all other likelihood models inference is intractable and various approximation techniques have been proposed. In recent years expectation-propagation (EP) has been developed as a general method for approximate inference. This article provides a general summary of how expectation-propagation can be used for approximate inference in Gaussian process models. Furthermore we present a case study describing its implementation for a new robust variant of Gaussian process regression. To gain further insights into the quality of the EP approximation we present experiments in which we compare to results obtained by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Maximum-Margin Feature Combination for Detection and Categorization

BakIr, G., Wu, M., Eichhorn, J.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper we are concerned with the optimal combination of features of possibly different types for detection and estimation tasks in machine vision. We propose to combine features such that the resulting classifier maximizes the margin between classes. In contrast to existing approaches which are non-convex and/or generative we propose to use a discriminative model leading to convex problem formulation and complexity control. Furthermore we assert that decision functions should not compare apples and oranges by comparing features of different types directly. Instead we propose to combine different similarity measures for each different feature type. Furthermore we argue that the question: ”Which feature type is more discriminative for task X?” is ill-posed and show empirically that the answer to this question might depend on the complexity of the decision function.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Towards a Statistical Theory of Clustering. Presented at the PASCAL workshop on clustering, London

von Luxburg, U., Ben-David, S.

Presented at the PASCAL workshop on clustering, London, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
The goal of this paper is to discuss statistical aspects of clustering in a framework where the data to be clustered has been sampled from some unknown probability distribution. Firstly, the clustering of the data set should reveal some structure of the underlying data rather than model artifacts due to the random sampling process. Secondly, the more sample points we have, the more reliable the clustering should be. We discuss which methods can and cannot be used to tackle those problems. In particular we argue that generalization bounds as they are used in statistical learning theory of classification are unsuitable in a general clustering framework. We suggest that the main replacements of generalization bounds should be convergence proofs and stability considerations. This paper should be considered as a road map paper which identifies important questions and potentially fruitful directions for future research about statistical clustering. We do not attempt to present a complete statistical theory of clustering.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Approximate Bayesian Inference for Psychometric Functions using MCMC Sampling

Kuss, M., Jäkel, F., Wichmann, F.

(135), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2005 (techreport)

Abstract
In psychophysical studies the psychometric function is used to model the relation between the physical stimulus intensity and the observer's ability to detect or discriminate between stimuli of different intensities. In this report we propose the use of Bayesian inference to extract the information contained in experimental data estimate the parameters of psychometric functions. Since Bayesian inference cannot be performed analytically we describe how a Markov chain Monte Carlo method can be used to generate samples from the posterior distribution over parameters. These samples are used to estimate Bayesian confidence intervals and other characteristics of the posterior distribution. In addition we discuss the parameterisation of psychometric functions and the role of prior distributions in the analysis. The proposed approach is exemplified using artificially generate d data and in a case study for real experimental data. Furthermore, we compare our approach with traditional methods based on maximum-likelihood parameter estimation combined with bootstrap techniques for confidence interval estimation. The appendix provides a description of an implementation for the R environment for statistical computing and provides the code for reproducing the results discussed in the experiment section.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2004


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Joint Kernel Maps

Weston, J., Schölkopf, B., Bousquet, O., Mann, .., Noble, W.

(131), Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, November 2004 (techreport)

PDF [BibTex]

2004

PDF [BibTex]


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Discrete vs. Continuous: Two Sides of Machine Learning

Zhou, D.

October 2004 (talk)

Abstract
We consider the problem of transductive inference. In many real-world problems, unlabeled data is far easier to obtain than labeled data. Hence transductive inference is very significant in many practical problems. According to Vapnik's point of view, one should predict the function value only on the given points directly rather than a function defined on the whole space, the latter being a more complicated problem. Inspired by this idea, we develop discrete calculus on finite discrete spaces, and then build discrete regularization. A family of transductive algorithms is naturally derived from this regularization framework. We validate the algorithms on both synthetic and real-world data from text/web categorization to bioinformatics problems. A significant by-product of this work is a powerful way of ranking data based on examples including images, documents, proteins and many other kinds of data. This talk is mainly based on the followiing contribution: (1) D. Zhou and B. Sch{\"o}lkopf: Transductive Inference with Graphs, MPI Technical report, August, 2004; (2) D. Zhou, B. Sch{\"o}lkopf and T. Hofmann. Semi-supervised Learning on Directed Graphs. NIPS 2004; (3) D. Zhou, O. Bousquet, T.N. Lal, J. Weston and B. Sch{\"o}lkopf. Learning with Local and Global Consistency. NIPS 2003.

PDF [BibTex]


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Grundlagen von Support Vector Maschinen und Anwendungen in der Bildverarbeitung

Eichhorn, J.

September 2004 (talk)

Abstract
Invited talk at the workshop "Numerical, Statistical and Discrete Methods in Image Processing" at the TU M{\"u}nchen (in GERMAN)

PDF [BibTex]


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Semi-Supervised Induction

Yu, K., Tresp, V., Zhou, D.

(141), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany, August 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Considerable progress was recently achieved on semi-supervised learning, which differs from the traditional supervised learning by additionally exploring the information of the unlabelled examples. However, a disadvantage of many existing methods is that it does not generalize to unseen inputs. This paper investigates learning methods that effectively make use of both labelled and unlabelled data to build predictive functions, which are defined on not just the seen inputs but the whole space. As a nice property, the proposed method allows effcient training and can easily handle new test points. We validate the method based on both toy data and real world data sets.

PDF PDF [BibTex]

PDF PDF [BibTex]


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Object categorization with SVM: kernels for local features

Eichhorn, J., Chapelle, O.

(137), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
In this paper, we propose to combine an efficient image representation based on local descriptors with a Support Vector Machine classifier in order to perform object categorization. For this purpose, we apply kernels defined on sets of vectors. After testing different combinations of kernel / local descriptors, we have been able to identify a very performant one.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Hilbertian Metrics and Positive Definite Kernels on Probability Measures

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(126), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We investigate the problem of defining Hilbertian metrics resp. positive definite kernels on probability measures, continuing previous work. This type of kernels has shown very good results in text classification and has a wide range of possible applications. In this paper we extend the two-parameter family of Hilbertian metrics of Topsoe such that it now includes all commonly used Hilbertian metrics on probability measures. This allows us to do model selection among these metrics in an elegant and unified way. Second we investigate further our approach to incorporate similarity information of the probability space into the kernel. The analysis provides a better understanding of these kernels and gives in some cases a more efficient way to compute them. Finally we compare all proposed kernels in two text and one image classification problem.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Kernels, Associated Structures and Generalizations

Hein, M., Bousquet, O.

(127), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, July 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
This paper gives a survey of results in the mathematical literature on positive definite kernels and their associated structures. We concentrate on properties which seem potentially relevant for Machine Learning and try to clarify some results that have been misused in the literature. Moreover we consider different lines of generalizations of positive definite kernels. Namely we deal with operator-valued kernels and present the general framework of Hilbertian subspaces of Schwartz which we use to introduce kernels which are distributions. Finally indefinite kernels and their associated reproducing kernel spaces are considered.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Riemannian Geometry on Graphs and its Application to Ranking and Classification

Zhou, D.

June 2004 (talk)

Abstract
We consider the problem of transductive inference. In many real-world problems, unlabeled data is far easier to obtain than labeled data. Hence transductive inference is very significant in many practical problems. According to Vapnik's point of view, one should predict the function value only on the given points directly rather than a function defined on the whole space, the latter being a more complicated problem. Inspired by this idea, we develop discrete calculus on finite discrete spaces, and then build discrete regularization. A family of transductive algorithms is naturally derived from this regularization framework. We validate the algorithms on both synthetic and real-world data from text/web categorization to bioinformatics problems. A significant by-product of this work is a powerful way of ranking data based on examples including images, documents, proteins and many other kinds of data.

PDF [BibTex]


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Kamerakalibrierung und Tiefenschätzung: Ein Vergleich von klassischer Bündelblockausgleichung und statistischen Lernalgorithmen

Sinz, FH.

Wilhelm-Schickard-Institut für Informatik, Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, March 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
Die Arbeit verleicht zwei Herangehensweisen an das Problem der Sch{\"a}tzung der r{\"a}umliche Position eines Punktes aus den Bildkoordinaten in zwei verschiedenen Kameras. Die klassische Methode der B{\"u}ndelblockausgleichung modelliert zwei Einzelkameras und sch{\"a}tzt deren {\"a}ußere und innere Orientierung mit einer iterativen Kalibrationsmethode, deren Konvergenz sehr stark von guten Startwerten abh{\"a}ngt. Die Tiefensch{\"a}tzung eines Punkts geschieht durch die Invertierung von drei der insgesamt vier Projektionsgleichungen der Einzalkameramodelle. Die zweite Methode benutzt Kernel Ridge Regression und Support Vector Regression, um direkt eine Abbildung von den Bild- auf die Raumkoordinaten zu lernen. Die Resultate zeigen, daß der Ansatz mit maschinellem Lernen, neben einer erheblichen Vereinfachung des Kalibrationsprozesses, zu h{\"o}heren Positionsgenaugikeiten f{\"u}hren kann.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning from Labeled and Unlabeled Data: Semi-supervised Learning and Ranking

Zhou, D.

January 2004 (talk)

Abstract
We consider the general problem of learning from labeled and unlabeled data, which is often called semi-supervised learning or transductive inference. A principled approach to semi-supervised learning is to design a classifying function which is sufficiently smooth with respect to the intrinsic structure collectively revealed by known labeled and unlabeled points. We present a simple algorithm to obtain such a smooth solution. Our method yields encouraging experimental results on a number of classification problems and demonstrates effective use of unlabeled data.

PDF [BibTex]


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Introduction to Category Theory

Bousquet, O.

Internal Seminar, January 2004 (talk)

Abstract
A brief introduction to the general idea behind category theory with some basic definitions and examples. A perspective on higher dimensional categories is given.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Multivariate Regression with Stiefel Constraints

Bakir, G., Gretton, A., Franz, M., Schölkopf, B.

(128), MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Spemannstr 38, 72076, Tuebingen, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We introduce a new framework for regression between multi-dimensional spaces. Standard methods for solving this problem typically reduce the problem to one-dimensional regression by choosing features in the input and/or output spaces. These methods, which include PLS (partial least squares), KDE (kernel dependency estimation), and PCR (principal component regression), select features based on different a-priori judgments as to their relevance. Moreover, loss function and constraints are chosen not primarily on statistical grounds, but to simplify the resulting optimisation. By contrast, in our approach the feature construction and the regression estimation are performed jointly, directly minimizing a loss function that we specify, subject to a rank constraint. A major advantage of this approach is that the loss is no longer chosen according to the algorithmic requirements, but can be tailored to the characteristics of the task at hand; the features will then be optimal with respect to this objective. Our approach also allows for the possibility of using a regularizer in the optimization. Finally, by processing the observations sequentially, our algorithm is able to work on large scale problems.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Learning from Labeled and Unlabeled Data Using Random Walks

Zhou, D., Schölkopf, B.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We consider the general problem of learning from labeled and unlabeled data. Given a set of points, some of them are labeled, and the remaining points are unlabeled. The goal is to predict the labels of the unlabeled points. Any supervised learning algorithm can be applied to this problem, for instance, Support Vector Machines (SVMs). The problem of our interest is if we can implement a classifier which uses the unlabeled data information in some way and has higher accuracy than the classifiers which use the labeled data only. Recently we proposed a simple algorithm, which can substantially benefit from large amounts of unlabeled data and demonstrates clear superiority to supervised learning methods. In this paper we further investigate the algorithm using random walks and spectral graph theory, which shed light on the key steps in this algorithm.

PDF PostScript [BibTex]

PDF PostScript [BibTex]


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Behaviour and Convergence of the Constrained Covariance

Gretton, A., Smola, A., Bousquet, O., Herbrich, R., Schölkopf, B., Logothetis, N.

(130), MPI for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We discuss reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS)-based measures of statistical dependence, with emphasis on constrained covariance (COCO), a novel criterion to test dependence of random variables. We show that COCO is a test for independence if and only if the associated RKHSs are universal. That said, no independence test exists that can distinguish dependent and independent random variables in all circumstances. Dependent random variables can result in a COCO which is arbitrarily close to zero when the source densities are highly non-smooth, which can make dependence hard to detect empirically. All current kernel-based independence tests share this behaviour. Finally, we demonstrate exponential convergence between the population and empirical COCO, which implies that COCO does not suffer from slow learning rates when used as a dependence test.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Confidence Sets for Ratios: A Purely Geometric Approach To Fieller’s Theorem

von Luxburg, U., Franz, V.

(133), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004 (techreport)

Abstract
We present a simple, geometric method to construct Fieller's exact confidence sets for ratios of jointly normally distributed random variables. Contrary to previous geometric approaches in the literature, our method is valid in the general case where both sample mean and covariance are unknown. Moreover, not only the construction but also its proof are purely geometric and elementary, thus giving intuition into the nature of the confidence sets.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Transductive Inference with Graphs

Zhou, D., Schölkopf, B.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 2004, See the improved version Regularization on Discrete Spaces. (techreport)

Abstract
We propose a general regularization framework for transductive inference. The given data are thought of as a graph, where the edges encode the pairwise relationships among data. We develop discrete analysis and geometry on graphs, and then naturally adapt the classical regularization in the continuous case to the graph situation. A new and effective algorithm is derived from this general framework, as well as an approach we developed before.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Advanced Statistical Learning Theory

Bousquet, O.

Machine Learning Summer School, 2004 (talk)

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]

2002


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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.

PDF [BibTex]

2002

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.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]