Maximum Entropy Discrimination

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 12 (NIPS 1999)

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Tommi Jaakkola, Marina Meila, Tony Jebara


We present a general framework for discriminative estimation based on the maximum entropy principle and its extensions. All calcula(cid:173) tions involve distributions over structures and/or parameters rather than specific settings and reduce to relative entropy projections. This holds even when the data is not separable within the chosen parametric class, in the context of anomaly detection rather than classification, or when the labels in the training set are uncertain or incomplete. Support vector machines are naturally subsumed un(cid:173) der this class and we provide several extensions. We are also able to estimate exactly and efficiently discriminative distributions over tree structures of class-conditional models within this framework. Preliminary experimental results are indicative of the potential in these techniques.