Exploiting the Surrogate Gap in Online Multiclass Classification

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Dirk van der Hoeven


We present \textproc{Gaptron}, a randomized first-order algorithm for online multiclass classification. In the full information setting we provide expected mistake bounds for \textproc{Gaptron} with respect to the logistic loss, hinge loss, and the smooth hinge loss with $O(K)$ regret, where the expectation is with respect to the learner's randomness and $K$ is the number of classes. In the bandit classification setting we show that \textproc{Gaptron} is the first linear time algorithm with $O(K\sqrt{T})$ expected regret. Additionally, the expected mistake bound of \textproc{Gaptron} does not depend on the dimension of the feature vector, contrary to previous algorithms with $O(K\sqrt{T})$ regret in the bandit classification setting. We present a new proof technique that exploits the gap between the zero-one loss and surrogate losses rather than exploiting properties such as exp-concavity or mixability, which are traditionally used to prove logarithmic or constant regret bounds.