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Random Gegenbauer Features for Scalable Kernel Methods

Insu Han · Amir Zandieh · Haim Avron

Hall E #523

Keywords: [ OPT: Sampling and Optimization ] [ PM: Monte Carlo and Sampling Methods ] [ T: Probabilistic Methods ] [ OPT: Stochastic ] [ PM: Spectral Methods ] [ MISC: Scalable Algorithms ] [ MISC: Kernel methods ]


We propose efficient random features for approximating a new and rich class of kernel functions that we refer to as Generalized Zonal Kernels (GZK). Our proposed GZK family, generalizes the zonal kernels (i.e., dot-product kernels on the unit sphere) by introducing radial factors in the Gegenbauer series expansion of these kernel functions. The GZK class of kernels includes a wide range of ubiquitous kernel functions such as the entirety of dot-product kernels as well as the Gaussian and the recently introduced Neural Tangent kernels. Interestingly, by exploiting the reproducing property of the Gegenbauer (Zonal) Harmonics, we can construct efficient random features for the GZK family based on randomly oriented Gegenbauer harmonics. We prove subspace embedding guarantees for our Gegenbauer features which ensures that our features can be used for approximately solving learning problems such as kernel k-means clustering, kernel ridge regression, etc. Empirical results show that our proposed features outperform recent kernel approximation methods.

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