Moderator: Slobodan MitroviÄ‡

Abstract:

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Thu 22 July 19:00 - 19:20 PDT

(Oral)

Vincent Cohen-Addad · Silvio Lattanzi · Slobodan MitroviÄ‡ · Ashkan Norouzi-Fard · Nikos Parotsidis · Jakub Tarnawski

Correlation clustering is a central topic in unsupervised learning, with many applications in ML and data mining. In correlation clustering, one receives as input a signed graph and the goal is to partition it to minimize the number of disagreements. In this work we propose a massively parallel computation (MPC) algorithm for this problem that is considerably faster than prior work. In particular, our algorithm uses machines with memory sublinear in the number of nodes in the graph and returns a constant approximation while running only for a constant number of rounds. To the best of our knowledge, our algorithm is the first that can provably approximate a clustering problem using only a constant number of MPC rounds in the sublinear memory regime. We complement our analysis with an experimental scalability evaluation of our techniques.

Thu 22 July 19:20 - 19:25 PDT

(Spotlight)

Kaixun Hua · Mingfei Shi · Yankai Cao

The minimum sum-of-squares clustering (MSSC) task, which can be treated as a Mixed Integer Second Order Cone Programming (MISOCP) problem, is rarely investigated in the literature through deterministic optimization to find its global optimal value. In this paper, we modelled the MSSC task as a two-stage optimization problem and proposed a tailed reduced-space branch and bound (BB) algorithm. We designed several approaches to construct lower and upper bounds at each node in the BB scheme, including a scenario grouping based Lagrangian decomposition approach. One key advantage of this reduced-space algorithm is that it only needs to perform branching on the centers of clusters to guarantee convergence, and the size of centers is independent of the number of data samples. Moreover, the lower bounds can be computed by solving small-scale sample subproblems, and upper bounds can be obtained trivially. These two properties enable our algorithm easy to be paralleled and can be scalable to the dataset with up to 200,000 samples for finding a global $\epsilon$-optimal solution of the MSSC task. We performed numerical experiments on both synthetic and real-world datasets and compared our proposed algorithms with the off-the-shelf global optimal solvers and classical local optimal algorithms. The results reveal a strong performance and scalability of our algorithm.

Thu 22 July 19:25 - 19:30 PDT

(Spotlight)

Xinwang Liu · Li Liu · Qing Liao · Siwei Wang · Yi Zhang · Wenxuan Tu · Chang Tang · Jiyuan Liu · En Zhu

Existing late fusion multi-view clustering (LFMVC) optimally integrates a group of pre-specified base partition matrices to learn a consensus one. It is then taken as the input of the widely used k-means to generate the cluster labels. As observed, the learning of the consensus partition matrix and the generation of cluster labels are separately done. These two procedures lack necessary negotiation and can not best serve for each other, which may adversely affect the clustering performance. To address this issue, we propose to unify the aforementioned two learning procedures into a single optimization, in which the consensus partition matrix can better serve for the generation of cluster labels, and the latter is able to guide the learning of the former. To optimize the resultant optimization problem, we develop a four-step alternate algorithm with proved convergence. We theoretically analyze the clustering generalization error of the proposed algorithm on unseen data. Comprehensive experiments on multiple benchmark datasets demonstrate the superiority of our algorithm in terms of both clustering accuracy and computational efficiency. It is expected that the simplicity and effectiveness of our algorithm will make it a good option to be considered for practical multi-view clustering applications.

Thu 22 July 19:30 - 19:35 PDT

(Spotlight)

Zhuangdi Zhu · Junyuan Hong · Jiayu Zhou

Federated Learning (FL) is a decentralized machine-learning paradigm, in which a global server iteratively averages the model parameters of local users without accessing their data. User heterogeneity has imposed significant challenges to FL, which can incur drifted global models that are slow to converge. Knowledge Distillation has recently emerged to tackle this issue, by refining the server model using aggregated knowledge from heterogeneous users, other than directly averaging their model parameters. This approach, however, depends on a proxy dataset, making it impractical unless such a prerequisite is satisfied. Moreover, the ensemble knowledge is not fully utilized to guide local model learning, which may in turn affect the quality of the aggregated model. Inspired by the prior art, we propose a data-free knowledge distillation approach to address heterogeneous FL, where the server learns a lightweight generator to ensemble user information in a data-free manner, which is then broadcasted to users, regulating local training using the learned knowledge as an inductive bias.

Empirical studies powered by theoretical implications show that our approach facilitates FL with better generalization performance using fewer communication rounds, compared with the state-of-the-art.

Thu 22 July 19:35 - 19:40 PDT

(Spotlight)

Shaojie Li · Yong Liu

Existing generalization analysis of clustering mainly focuses on specific instantiations, such as (kernel) $k$-means, and a unified framework for studying clustering performance is still lacking. Besides, the existing excess clustering risk bounds are mostly of order $\mathcal{O}(K/\sqrt{n})$ provided that the underlying distribution has bounded support, where $n$ is the sample size and $K$ is the cluster numbers, or of order $\mathcal{O}(K^2/n)$ under strong assumptions on the underlying distribution, where these assumptions are hard to be verified in general. In this paper, we propose a unified clustering learning framework and investigate its excess risk bounds, obtaining state-of-the-art upper bounds under mild assumptions. Specifically, we derive sharper bounds of order $\mathcal{O}(K^2/n)$ under mild assumptions on the covering number of the hypothesis spaces, where these assumptions are easy to be verified. Moreover, for the hard clustering scheme, such as (kernel) $k$-means, if just assume the hypothesis functions to be bounded, we improve the upper bounds from the order $\mathcal{O}(K/\sqrt{n})$ to $\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{K}/\sqrt{n})$. Furthermore, state-of-the-art bounds of faster order $\mathcal{O}(K/n)$ are obtained with the covering number assumptions.

Thu 22 July 19:40 - 19:45 PDT

(Spotlight)

Yu Inatsu · Shogo Iwazaki · Ichiro Takeuchi

Many cases exist in which a black-box function $f$ with high evaluation cost depends on two types of variables $\bm x$ and $\bm w$, where $\bm x$ is a controllable \emph{design} variable and $\bm w$ are uncontrollable \emph{environmental} variables that have random variation following a certain distribution $P$. In such cases, an important task is to find the range of design variables $\bm x$ such that the function $f(\bm x, \bm w)$ has the desired properties by incorporating the random variation of the environmental variables $\bm w$. A natural measure of robustness is the probability that $f(\bm x, \bm w)$ exceeds a given threshold $h$, which is known as the \emph{probability threshold robustness} (PTR) measure in the literature on robust optimization. However, this robustness measure cannot be correctly evaluated when the distribution $P$ is unknown. In this study, we addressed this problem by considering the \textit{distributionally robust PTR} (DRPTR) measure, which considers the worst-case PTR within given candidate distributions. Specifically, we studied the problem of efficiently identifying a reliable set $H$, which is defined as a region in which the DRPTR measure exceeds a certain desired probability $\alpha$, which can be interpreted as a level set estimation (LSE) problem for DRPTR. We propose a theoretically grounded and computationally efficient active learning method for this problem. We show that the proposed method has theoretical guarantees on convergence and accuracy, and confirmed through numerical experiments that the proposed method outperforms existing methods.

Thu 22 July 19:45 - 19:50 PDT

(Spotlight)

Tianyu Ding · Zhihui Zhu · Rene Vidal · Daniel Robinson

The Dual Principal Component Pursuit (DPCP) method has been proposed to robustly recover a subspace of high-relative dimension from corrupted data. Existing analyses and algorithms of DPCP, however, mainly focus on finding a normal to a single hyperplane that contains the inliers. Although these algorithms can be extended to a subspace of higher co-dimension through a recursive approach that sequentially finds a new basis element of the space orthogonal to the subspace, this procedure is computationally expensive and lacks convergence guarantees. In this paper, we consider a DPCP approach for simultaneously computing the entire basis of the orthogonal complement subspace (we call this a holistic approach) by solving a non-convex non-smooth optimization problem over the Grassmannian. We provide geometric and statistical analyses for the global optimality and prove that it can tolerate as many outliers as the square of the number of inliers, under both noiseless and noisy settings. We then present a Riemannian regularity condition for the problem, which is then used to prove that a Riemannian subgradient method converges linearly to a neighborhood of the orthogonal subspace with error proportional to the noise level.