Learning Theory 12

Moderator: Taiji Suzuki


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Wed 21 July 19:00 - 19:20 PDT

A Precise Performance Analysis of Support Vector Regression

Houssem Sifaou · Abla Kammoun · Mohamed-Slim Alouini

In this paper, we study the hard and soft support vector regression techniques applied to a set of $n$ linear measurements of the form $y_i=\boldsymbol{\beta}_\star^{T}{\bf x}_i +n_i$ where $\boldsymbol{\beta}_\star$ is an unknown vector, $\left\{{\bf x}_i\right\}_{i=1}^n$ are the feature vectors and $\left\{{n}_i\right\}_{i=1}^n$ model the noise. Particularly, under some plausible assumptions on the statistical distribution of the data, we characterize the feasibility condition for the hard support vector regression in the regime of high dimensions and, when feasible, derive an asymptotic approximation for its risk. Similarly, we study the test risk for the soft support vector regression as a function of its parameters. Our results are then used to optimally tune the parameters intervening in the design of hard and soft support vector regression algorithms. Based on our analysis, we illustrate that adding more samples may be harmful to the test performance of support vector regression, while it is always beneficial when the parameters are optimally selected. Such a result reminds a similar phenomenon observed in modern learning architectures according to which optimally tuned architectures present a decreasing test performance curve with respect to the number of samples.

Wed 21 July 19:20 - 19:25 PDT

Lower-Bounded Proper Losses for Weakly Supervised Classification

Shuhei M Yoshida · Takashi Takenouchi · Masashi Sugiyama

This paper discusses the problem of weakly supervised classification, in which instances are given weak labels that are produced by some label-corruption process. The goal is to derive conditions under which loss functions for weak-label learning are proper and lower-bounded---two essential requirements for the losses used in class-probability estimation. To this end, we derive a representation theorem for proper losses in supervised learning, which dualizes the Savage representation. We use this theorem to characterize proper weak-label losses and find a condition for them to be lower-bounded. From these theoretical findings, we derive a novel regularization scheme called generalized logit squeezing, which makes any proper weak-label loss bounded from below, without losing properness. Furthermore, we experimentally demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach, as compared to improper or unbounded losses. The results highlight the importance of properness and lower-boundedness.

Wed 21 July 19:25 - 19:30 PDT

On Variational Inference in Biclustering Models

Guanhua Fang · Ping Li

Biclustering structures exist ubiquitously in data matrices and the biclustering problem was first formalized by John Hartigan (1972) to cluster rows and columns simultaneously. In this paper, we develop a theory for the estimation of general biclustering models, where the data is assumed to follow certain statistical distribution with underlying biclustering structure. Due to the existence of latent variables, directly computing the maximal likelihood estimator is prohibitively difficult in practice and we instead consider the variational inference (VI) approach to solve the parameter estimation problem. Although variational inference method generally has good empirical performance, there are very few theoretical results around VI. In this paper, we obtain the precise estimation bound of variational estimator and show that it matches the minimax rate in terms of estimation error under mild assumptions in biclustering setting. Furthermore, we study the convergence property of the coordinate ascent variational inference algorithm, where both local and global convergence results have been provided. Numerical results validate our new theories.

Wed 21 July 19:30 - 19:35 PDT

Infinite-Dimensional Optimization for Zero-Sum Games via Variational Transport

Lewis Liu · Yufeng Zhang · Zhuoran Yang · Reza Babanezhad · Zhaoran Wang

Game optimization has been extensively studied when decision variables lie in a finite-dimensional space, of which solutions correspond to pure strategies at the Nash equilibrium (NE), and the gradient descent-ascent (GDA) method works widely in practice. In this paper, we consider infinite-dimensional zero-sum games by a min-max distributional optimization problem over a space of probability measures defined on a continuous variable set, which is inspired by finding a mixed NE for finite-dimensional zero-sum games. We then aim to answer the following question: \textit{Will GDA-type algorithms still be provably efficient when extended to infinite-dimensional zero-sum games?} To answer this question, we propose a particle-based variational transport algorithm based on GDA in the functional spaces. Specifically, the algorithm performs multi-step functional gradient descent-ascent in the Wasserstein space via pushing two sets of particles in the variable space. By characterizing the gradient estimation error from variational form maximization and the convergence behavior of each player with different objective landscapes, we prove rigorously that the generalized GDA algorithm converges to the NE or the value of the game efficiently for a class of games under the Polyak-\L ojasiewicz (PL) condition. To conclude, we provide complete statistical and convergence guarantees for solving an infinite-dimensional zero-sum game via a provably efficient particle-based method. Additionally, our work provides the first thorough statistical analysis for the particle-based algorithm to learn an objective functional with a variational form using universal approximators (\textit{i.e.}, neural networks (NNs)), which is of independent interest.

Wed 21 July 19:35 - 19:40 PDT

Dropout: Explicit Forms and Capacity Control

Raman Arora · Peter Bartlett · Poorya Mianjy · Nati Srebro

We investigate the capacity control provided by dropout in various machine learning problems. First, we study dropout for matrix completion, where it induces a distribution-dependent regularizer that equals the weighted trace-norm of the product of the factors. In deep learning, we show that the distribution-dependent regularizer due to dropout directly controls the Rademacher complexity of the underlying class of deep neural networks. These developments enable us to give concrete generalization error bounds for the dropout algorithm in both matrix completion as well as training deep neural networks.

Wed 21 July 19:40 - 19:45 PDT

Finding Relevant Information via a Discrete Fourier Expansion

Mohsen Heidari · Jithin Sreedharan · Gil Shamir · Wojciech Szpankowski

A fundamental obstacle in learning information from data is the presence of nonlinear redundancies and dependencies in it. To address this, we propose a Fourier-based approach to extract relevant information in the supervised setting. We first develop a novel Fourier expansion for functions of correlated binary random variables. This expansion is a generalization of the standard Fourier analysis on the Boolean cube beyond product probability spaces. We further extend our Fourier analysis to stochastic mappings. As an important application of this analysis, we investigate learning with feature subset selection. We reformulate this problem in the Fourier domain and introduce a computationally efficient measure for selecting features. Bridging the Bayesian error rate with the Fourier coefficients, we demonstrate that the Fourier expansion provides a powerful tool to characterize nonlinear dependencies in the features-label relation. Via theoretical analysis, we show that our proposed measure finds provably asymptotically optimal feature subsets. Lastly, we present an algorithm based on our measure and verify our findings via numerical experiments on various datasets.

Wed 21 July 19:45 - 19:50 PDT

On the Inherent Regularization Effects of Noise Injection During Training

Oussama Dhifallah · Yue Lu

Randomly perturbing networks during the training process is a commonly used approach to improving generalization performance. In this paper, we present a theoretical study of one particular way of random perturbation, which corresponds to injecting artificial noise to the training data. We provide a precise asymptotic characterization of the training and generalization errors of such randomly perturbed learning problems on a random feature model. Our analysis shows that Gaussian noise injection in the training process is equivalent to introducing a weighted ridge regularization, when the number of noise injections tends to infinity. The explicit form of the regularization is also given. Numerical results corroborate our asymptotic predictions, showing that they are accurate even in moderate problem dimensions. Our theoretical predictions are based on a new correlated Gaussian equivalence conjecture that generalizes recent results in the study of random feature models.

Wed 21 July 19:50 - 19:55 PDT