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Probabilistic Topic Coding for Superset Label Learning
Liping Liu · Thomas Dietterich

Wed Dec 05 07:00 PM -- 12:00 AM (PST) @ Harrah’s Special Events Center 2nd Floor

In the superset label learning problem, each training instance provides a set of candidate labels of which one is the true label of the instance. Most approaches learn a discriminative classifier that tries to minimize an upper bound of the unobserved 0/1 loss. In this work, we propose a probabilistic model, Probabilistic Topic Coding (PTC), for the superset label learning problem. The PTC model is derived from logistic stick breaking process. It first maps the data to ``topics'', and then assigns to each topic a label drawn from a multinomial distribution. The layer of topics can capture underlying structure in the data, which is very useful when the model is weakly supervised. This advantage comes at little cost, since the model introduces few additional parameters. Experimental tests on several real-world problems with superset labels show results that are competitive or superior to the state of the art. The discovered underlying structures also provide improved explanations of the classification predictions.

Author Information

Liping Liu (Tufts University)
Thomas Dietterich (Oregon State University)

Tom Dietterich (AB Oberlin College 1977; MS University of Illinois 1979; PhD Stanford University 1984) is Professor and Director of Intelligent Systems Research at Oregon State University. Among his contributions to machine learning research are (a) the formalization of the multiple-instance problem, (b) the development of the error-correcting output coding method for multi-class prediction, (c) methods for ensemble learning, (d) the development of the MAXQ framework for hierarchical reinforcement learning, and (e) the application of gradient tree boosting to problems of structured prediction and latent variable models. Dietterich has pursued application-driven fundamental research in many areas including drug discovery, computer vision, computational sustainability, and intelligent user interfaces. Dietterich has served the machine learning community in a variety of roles including Executive Editor of the Machine Learning journal, co-founder of the Journal of Machine Learning Research, editor of the MIT Press Book Series on Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning, and editor of the Morgan-Claypool Synthesis series on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. He was Program Co-Chair of AAAI-1990, Program Chair of NIPS-2000, and General Chair of NIPS-2001. He was first President of the International Machine Learning Society (the parent organization of ICML) and served a term on the NIPS Board of Trustees and the Council of AAAI.

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