ExactBoost: Directly Boosting the Margin in Combinatorial and Non-decomposable Metrics
Proceedings of The 25th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 151:9017-9049, 2022.
Many classification algorithms require the use of surrogate losses when the intended loss function is combinatorial or non-decomposable. This paper introduces a fast and exact stagewise optimization algorithm, dubbed ExactBoost, that boosts stumps to the actual loss function. By developing a novel extension of margin theory to the non-decomposable setting, it is possible to provably bound the generalization error of ExactBoost for many important metrics with different levels of non-decomposability. Through extensive examples, it is shown that such theoretical guarantees translate to competitive empirical performance. In particular, when used as an ensembler, ExactBoost is able to significantly outperform other surrogate-based and exact algorithms available.