Sample Compressed PAC-Bayesian Bounds and learning algorithms

Authors: Shanian, Sara
Advisor: Laviolette, FrançoisMarchand, Mario
Abstract: In classification, sample compression algorithms are the algorithms that make use of the available training data to construct the set of possible predictors. If the data belongs to only a small subspace of the space of all "possible" data, such algorithms have the interesting ability of considering only the predictors that distinguish examples in our areas of interest. This is in contrast with non sample compressed algorithms which have to consider the set of predictors before seeing the training data. The Support Vector Machine (SVM) is a very successful learning algorithm that can be considered as a sample-compression learning algorithm. Despite its success, the SVM is currently limited by the fact that its similarity function must be a symmetric positive semi-definite kernel. This limitation by design makes SVM hardly applicable for the cases where one would like to be able to use any similarity measure of input example. PAC-Bayesian theory has been shown to be a good starting point for designing learning algorithms. In this thesis, we propose a PAC-Bayes sample-compression approach to kernel methods that can accommodate any bounded similarity function. We show that the support vector classifier is actually a particular case of sample-compressed classifiers known as majority votes of sample-compressed classifiers. We propose two different groups of PAC-Bayesian risk bounds for majority votes of sample-compressed classifiers. The first group of proposed bounds depends on the KL divergence between the prior and the posterior over the set of sample-compressed classifiers. The second group of proposed bounds has the unusual property of having no KL divergence when the posterior is aligned with the prior in some precise way that we define later in this thesis. Finally, for each bound, we provide a new learning algorithm that consists of finding the predictor that minimizes the bound. The computation times of these algorithms are comparable with algorithms like the SVM. We also empirically show that the proposed algorithms are very competitive with the SVM.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2012
Open Access Date: 18 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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