Robust and Efficient Kernel Hyperparameter Paths with Guarantees


Joachim Giesen, Soeren Laue, Patrick Wieschollek ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(2):1296-1304, 2014.


Algorithmically, many machine learning tasks boil down to solving parameterized optimization problems. Finding good values for the parameters has significant influence on the statistical performance of these methods. Thus supporting the choice of parameter values algorithmically has received quite some attention recently, especially algorithms for computing the whole solution path of parameterized optimization problem. These algorithms can be used, for instance, to track the solution of a regularized learning problem along the regularization parameter path, or for tracking the solution of kernelized problems along a kernel hyperparameter path. Since exact path following algorithms can be numerically unstable, robust and efficient approximate path tracking algorithms became popular for regularized learning problems. By now algorithms with optimal path complexity are known for many regularized learning problems. That is not the case for kernel hyperparameter path tracking algorithms, where the exact path tracking algorithms can also suffer from numerical instabilities. The robust approximation algorithms for regularization path tracking can not be used directly for kernel hyperparameter path tracking problems since the latter fall into a different problem class. Here we address this problem by devising a robust and efficient path tracking algorithm that can also handle kernel hyperparameter paths and has asymptotically optimal complexity. We use this algorithm to compute approximate kernel hyperparamter solution paths for support vector machines and robust kernel regression. Experimental results for this problem applied to various data sets confirms the theoretical complexity analysis.

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