Non-linear Metric Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

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Dor Kedem, Stephen Tyree, Fei Sha, Gert Lanckriet, Kilian Q. Weinberger


In this paper, we introduce two novel metric learning algorithms, χ2-LMNN and GB-LMNN, which are explicitly designed to be non-linear and easy-to-use. The two approaches achieve this goal in fundamentally different ways: χ2-LMNN inherits the computational benefits of a linear mapping from linear metric learning, but uses a non-linear χ2-distance to explicitly capture similarities within histogram data sets; GB-LMNN applies gradient-boosting to learn non-linear mappings directly in function space and takes advantage of this approach's robustness, speed, parallelizability and insensitivity towards the single additional hyper-parameter. On various benchmark data sets, we demonstrate these methods not only match the current state-of-the-art in terms of kNN classification error, but in the case of χ2-LMNN, obtain best results in 19 out of 20 learning settings.