Estimation from Indirect Supervision with Linear Moments


Aditi Raghunathan, Roy Frostig, John Duchi, Percy Liang ;
Proceedings of The 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 48:2568-2577, 2016.


In structured prediction problems where we have indirect supervision of the output, maximum marginal likelihood faces two computational obstacles: non-convexity of the objective and intractability of even a single gradient computation. In this paper, we bypass both obstacles for a class of what we call linear indirectly-supervised problems. Our approach is simple: we solve a linear system to estimate sufficient statistics of the model, which we then use to estimate parameters via convex optimization. We analyze the statistical properties of our approach and show empirically that it is effective in two settings: learning with local privacy constraints and learning from low-cost count-based annotations.

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