Supervised Learning 5

Moderator: Tanuj Sur


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Wed 21 July 19:00 - 19:05 PDT

Deep Latent Graph Matching

Tianshu Yu · Runzhong Wang · Junchi Yan · baoxin Li

Deep learning for graph matching (GM) has emerged as an important research topic due to its superior performance over traditional methods and insights it provides for solving other combinatorial problems on graph. While recent deep methods for GM extensively investigated effective node/edge feature learning or downstream GM solvers given such learned features, there is little existing work questioning if the fixed connectivity/topology typically constructed using heuristics (e.g., Delaunay or k-nearest) is indeed suitable for GM. From a learning perspective, we argue that the fixed topology may restrict the model capacity and thus potentially hinder the performance. To address this, we propose to learn the (distribution of) latent topology, which can better support the downstream GM task. We devise two latent graph generation procedures, one deterministic and one generative. Particularly, the generative procedure emphasizes the across-graph consistency and thus can be viewed as a matching-guided co-generative model. Our methods deliver superior performance over previous state-of-the-arts on public benchmarks, hence supporting our hypothesis.

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Wed 21 July 19:05 - 19:10 PDT

Asymmetric Loss Functions for Learning with Noisy Labels

Xiong Zhou · Xianming Liu · Junjun Jiang · Xin Gao · Xiangyang Ji

Robust loss functions are essential for training deep neural networks with better generalization power in the presence of noisy labels. Symmetric loss functions are confirmed to be robust to label noise. However, the symmetric condition is overly restrictive. In this work, we propose a new class of loss functions, namely asymmetric loss functions, which are robust to learning from noisy labels for arbitrary noise type. Subsequently, we investigate general theoretical properties of asymmetric loss functions, including classification-calibration, excess risk bound, and noise-tolerance. Meanwhile, we introduce the asymmetry ratio to measure the asymmetry of a loss function, and the empirical results show that a higher ratio will provide better robustness. Moreover, we modify several common loss functions, and establish the necessary and sufficient conditions for them to be asymmetric. Experiments on benchmark datasets demonstrate that asymmetric loss functions can outperform state-of-the-art methods.

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Wed 21 July 19:10 - 19:15 PDT

Clusterability as an Alternative to Anchor Points When Learning with Noisy Labels

Zhaowei Zhu · Yiwen Song · Yang Liu

The label noise transition matrix, characterizing the probabilities of a training instance being wrongly annotated, is crucial to designing popular solutions to learning with noisy labels. Existing works heavily rely on finding ``anchor points'' or their approximates, defined as instances belonging to a particular class almost surely. Nonetheless, finding anchor points remains a non-trivial task, and the estimation accuracy is also often throttled by the number of available anchor points. In this paper, we propose an alternative option to the above task. Our main contribution is the discovery of an efficient estimation procedure based on a clusterability condition. We prove that with clusterable representations of features, using up to third-order consensuses of noisy labels among neighbor representations is sufficient to estimate a unique transition matrix. Compared with methods using anchor points, our approach uses substantially more instances and benefits from a much better sample complexity. We demonstrate the estimation accuracy and advantages of our estimates using both synthetic noisy labels (on CIFAR-10/100) and real human-level noisy labels (on Clothing1M and our self-collected human-annotated CIFAR-10). Our code and human-level noisy CIFAR-10 labels are available at

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Wed 21 July 19:15 - 19:20 PDT

More Powerful and General Selective Inference for Stepwise Feature Selection using Homotopy Method

Kazuya Sugiyama · Vo Nguyen Le Duy · Ichiro Takeuchi

Conditional selective inference (SI) has been actively studied as a new statistical inference framework for data-driven hypotheses. The basic idea of conditional SI is to make inferences conditional on the selection event characterized by a set of linear and/or quadratic inequalities. Conditional SI has been mainly studied in the context of feature selection such as stepwise feature selection (SFS). The main limitation of the existing conditional SI methods is the loss of power due to over-conditioning, which is required for computational tractability. In this study, we develop a more powerful and general conditional SI method for SFS using the homotopy method which enables us to overcome this limitation. The homotopy-based SI is especially effective for more complicated feature selection algorithms. As an example, we develop a conditional SI method for forward-backward SFS with AIC-based stopping criteria and show that it is not adversely affected by the increased complexity of the algorithm. We conduct several experiments to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed method.

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Wed 21 July 19:20 - 19:25 PDT

Training Recurrent Neural Networks via Forward Propagation Through Time

Anil Kag · Venkatesh Saligrama

Back-propagation through time (BPTT) has been widely used for training Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). BPTT updates RNN parameters on an instance by back-propagating the error in time over the entire sequence length, and as a result, leads to poor trainability due to the well-known gradient explosion/decay phenomena. While a number of prior works have proposed to mitigate vanishing/explosion effect through careful RNN architecture design, these RNN variants still train with BPTT. We propose a novel forward-propagation algorithm, FPTT, where at each time, for an instance, we update RNN parameters by optimizing an instantaneous risk function. Our proposed risk is a regularization penalty at time $t$ that evolves dynamically based on previously observed losses, and allows for RNN parameter updates to converge to a stationary solution of the empirical RNN objective. We consider both sequence-to-sequence as well as terminal loss problems. Empirically FPTT outperforms BPTT on a number of well-known benchmark tasks, thus enabling architectures like LSTMs to solve long range dependencies problems.

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Wed 21 July 19:25 - 19:30 PDT

Deep Learning for Functional Data Analysis with Adaptive Basis Layers

Junwen Yao · Jonas Mueller · Jane-Ling Wang

Despite their widespread success, the application of deep neural networks to functional data remains scarce today. The infinite dimensionality of functional data means standard learning algorithms can be applied only after appropriate dimension reduction, typically achieved via basis expansions. Currently, these bases are chosen a priori without the information for the task at hand and thus may not be effective for the designated task. We instead propose to adaptively learn these bases in an end-to-end fashion. We introduce neural networks that employ a new Basis Layer whose hidden units are each basis functions themselves implemented as a micro neural network. Our architecture learns to apply parsimonious dimension reduction to functional inputs that focuses only on information relevant to the target rather than irrelevant variation in the input function. Across numerous classification/regression tasks with functional data, our method empirically outperforms other types of neural networks, and we prove that our approach is statistically consistent with low generalization error.

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Wed 21 July 19:30 - 19:35 PDT

An Integer Linear Programming Framework for Mining Constraints from Data

Tao Meng · Kai-Wei Chang

Structured output prediction problems (e.g., sequential tagging, hierarchical multi-class classification) often involve constraints over the output space. These constraints interact with the learned models to filter infeasible solutions and facilitate in building an accountable system. However, despite constraints are useful, they are often based on hand-crafted rules. This raises a question -- can we mine constraints and rules from data based on a learning algorithm?

In this paper, we present a general framework for mining constraints from data. In particular, we consider the inference in structured output prediction as an integer linear programming (ILP) problem. Then, given the coefficients of the objective function and the corresponding solution, we mine the underlying constraints by estimating the outer and inner polytopes of the feasible set. We verify the proposed constraint mining algorithm in various synthetic and real-world applications and demonstrate that the proposed approach successfully identifies the feasible set at scale. 
In particular, we show that our approach can learn to solve 9x9 Sudoku puzzles and minimal spanning tree problems from examples without providing the underlying rules. Our algorithm can also integrate with a neural network model to learn the hierarchical label structure of a multi-label classification task. Besides, we provide theoretical analysis about the tightness of the polytopes and the reliability of the mined constraints.

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Wed 21 July 19:35 - 19:40 PDT

Classification with Rejection Based on Cost-sensitive Classification

Nontawat Charoenphakdee · Zhenghang Cui · Yivan Zhang · Masashi Sugiyama

The goal of classification with rejection is to avoid risky misclassification in error-critical applications such as medical diagnosis and product inspection. In this paper, based on the relationship between classification with rejection and cost-sensitive classification, we propose a novel method of classification with rejection by learning an ensemble of cost-sensitive classifiers, which satisfies all the following properties: (i) it can avoid estimating class-posterior probabilities, resulting in improved classification accuracy. (ii) it allows a flexible choice of losses including non-convex ones, (iii) it does not require complicated modifications when using different losses, (iv) it is applicable to both binary and multiclass cases, and (v) it is theoretically justifiable for any classification-calibrated loss. Experimental results demonstrate the usefulness of our proposed approach in clean-labeled, noisy-labeled, and positive-unlabeled classification.

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Wed 21 July 19:40 - 19:45 PDT

Versatile Verification of Tree Ensembles

Laurens Devos · Wannes Meert · Jesse Davis

Machine learned models often must abide by certain requirements (e.g., fairness or legal). This has spurred interested in developing approaches that can provably verify whether a model satisfies certain properties. This paper introduces a generic algorithm called Veritas that enables tackling multiple different verification tasks for tree ensemble models like random forests (RFs) and gradient boosted decision trees (GBDTs). This generality contrasts with previous work, which has focused exclusively on either adversarial example generation or robustness checking. Veritas formulates the verification task as a generic optimization problem and introduces a novel search space representation. Veritas offers two key advantages. First, it provides anytime lower and upper bounds when the optimization problem cannot be solved exactly. In contrast, many existing methods have focused on exact solutions and are thus limited by the verification problem being NP-complete. Second, Veritas produces full (bounded suboptimal) solutions that can be used to generate concrete examples. We experimentally show that our method produces state-of-the-art robustness estimates, especially when executed with strict time constraints. This is exceedingly important when checking the robustness of large datasets. Additionally, we show that Veritas enables tackling more real-world verification scenarios.

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Wed 21 July 19:45 - 19:50 PDT


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