Outlier Path: A Homotopy Algorithm for Robust SVM


Shinya Suzumura, Kohei Ogawa, Masashi Sugiyama, Ichiro Takeuchi ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(2):1098-1106, 2014.


In recent applications with massive but less reliable data (e.g., labels obtained by a semi-supervised learning method or crowdsourcing), non-robustness of the support vector machine (SVM) often causes considerable performance deterioration. Although improving the robustness of SVM has been investigated for long time, robust SVM (RSVM) learning still poses two major challenges: obtaining a good (local) solution from a non-convex optimization problem and optimally controlling the robustness-efficiency trade-off. In this paper, we address these two issues simultaneously in an integrated way by introducing a novel homotopy approach to RSVM learning. Based on theoretical investigation of the geometry of RSVM solutions, we show that a path of local RSVM solutions can be computed efficiently when the influence of outliers is gradually suppressed as simulated annealing. We experimentally demonstrate that our algorithm tends to produce better local solutions than the alternative approach based on the concave-convex procedure, with the ability of stable and efficient model selection for controlling the influence of outliers.

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