Convex Point Estimation using Undirected Bayesian Transfer Hierarchies

author: Ben Packer, Stanford University
published: July 30, 2008,   recorded: July 2008,   views: 3110


Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


When related learning tasks are naturally arranged in a hierarchy, an appealing approach for coping with scarcity of instances is that of transfer learning using a hierarchical Bayes framework. As fully Bayesian computations can be difficult and computationally demanding, it is often desirable to use posterior point estimates that facilitate (relatively) efficient prediction. However, the hierarchical Bayes framework does not always lend itself naturally to this maximum a posteriori goal. In this work we propose an undirected reformulation of hierarchical Bayes that relies on priors in the form of similarity measures. We introduce the notion of “degree of transfer” weights on components of these similarity measures, and show how they can be automatically learned within a joint probabilistic framework. Importantly, our reformulation results in a convex objective for many learning problems, thus facilitating optimal posterior point estimation using standard optimization techniques. In addition, we no longer require proper priors, allowing for flexible and straightforward specification of joint distributions over transfer hierarchies. We show that our framework is effective for learning models that are part of transfer hierarchies for two real-life tasks: object shape modeling using Gaussian density estimation and document classification.

See Also:

Download slides icon Download slides: uai08_packer_cpe.pdf (986.2 KB)

Download slides icon Download slides: uai08_packer_cpe_01.ppt (2.5 MB)

Help icon Streaming Video Help

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: