On the Usefulness of Similarity based Projection Spaces for Transfer Learning

author: Emilie Morvant, Laboratoire d’Informatique Fondamentale de Marseille
published: Oct. 17, 2011,   recorded: September 2011,   views: 6381


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Similarity functions are widely used in many machine learning or pattern recognition tasks. We consider here a recent framework for binary classifi cation, proposed by Balcan et al., allowing to learn in a potentially non geometrical space based on good similarity functions. This framework is a generalization of the notion of kernels used in support vector machines in the sense that allows one to use similarity functions that do not need to be positive semi-de finite nor symmetric. The similarities are then used to define an explicit projection space where a linear classifi er with good generalization properties can be learned. In this paper, we propose to study experimentally the usefulness of similarity based projection spaces for transfer learning issues. More precisely, we consider the problem of domain adaptation where the distributions generating learning data and test data are somewhat di fferent. We stand in the case where no information on the test labels is available. We show that a simple renormalization of a good similarity function taking into account the test data allows us to learn classifi ers more performing on the target distribution for difficult adaptation problems. Moreover, this normalization always helps to improve the model when we try to regularize the similarity based projection space in order to move closer the two distributions. We provide experiments on a toy problem and on a real image annotation task.

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