Bilevel Distance Metric Learning for Robust Image Recognition

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)

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Jie Xu, Lei Luo, Cheng Deng, Heng Huang


Metric learning, aiming to learn a discriminative Mahalanobis distance matrix M that can effectively reflect the similarity between data samples, has been widely studied in various image recognition problems. Most of the existing metric learning methods input the features extracted directly from the original data in the preprocess phase. What's worse, these features usually take no consideration of the local geometrical structure of the data and the noise existed in the data, thus they may not be optimal for the subsequent metric learning task. In this paper, we integrate both feature extraction and metric learning into one joint optimization framework and propose a new bilevel distance metric learning model. Specifically, the lower level characterizes the intrinsic data structure using graph regularized sparse coefficients, while the upper level forces the data samples from the same class to be close to each other and pushes those from different classes far away. In addition, leveraging the KKT conditions and the alternating direction method (ADM), we derive an efficient algorithm to solve the proposed new model. Extensive experiments on various occluded datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of our method.