Improved Output Coding for Classification Using Continuous Relaxation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 13 (NIPS 2000)

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Koby Crammer, Yoram Singer


Output coding is a general method for solving multiclass problems by reducing them to multiple binary classification problems. Previous re(cid:173) search on output coding has employed, almost solely, predefined discrete codes. We describe an algorithm that improves the performance of output codes by relaxing them to continuous codes. The relaxation procedure is cast as an optimization problem and is reminiscent of the quadratic program for support vector machines. We describe experiments with the proposed algorithm, comparing it to standard discrete output codes. The experimental results indicate that continuous relaxations of output codes often improve the generalization performance, especially for short codes.