Fast DPP Sampling for Nystrom with Application to Kernel Methods


Chengtao Li, Stefanie Jegelka, Suvrit Sra ;
Proceedings of The 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 48:2061-2070, 2016.


The Nystrom method has long been popular for scaling up kernel methods. Its theoretical guarantees and empirical performance rely critically on the quality of the landmarks selected. We study landmark selection for Nystrom using Determinantal Point Processes (DPPs), discrete probability models that allow tractable generation of diverse samples. We prove that landmarks selected via DPPs guarantee bounds on approximation errors; subsequently, we analyze implications for kernel ridge regression. Contrary to prior reservations due to cubic complexity of DPP sampling, we show that (under certain conditions) Markov chain DPP sampling requires only linear time in the size of the data. We present several empirical results that support our theoretical analysis, and demonstrate the superior performance of DPP-based landmark selection compared with existing approaches.

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