A Hybrid Loss for Multiclass and Structured Prediction

9 Feb 2014  ·  Qinfeng Shi, Mark Reid, Tiberio Caetano, Anton Van Den Hengel, Zhenhua Wang ·

We propose a novel hybrid loss for multiclass and structured prediction problems that is a convex combination of a log loss for Conditional Random Fields (CRFs) and a multiclass hinge loss for Support Vector Machines (SVMs). We provide a sufficient condition for when the hybrid loss is Fisher consistent for classification. This condition depends on a measure of dominance between labels--specifically, the gap between the probabilities of the best label and the second best label. We also prove Fisher consistency is necessary for parametric consistency when learning models such as CRFs. We demonstrate empirically that the hybrid loss typically performs least as well as--and often better than--both of its constituent losses on a variety of tasks, such as human action recognition. In doing so we also provide an empirical comparison of the efficacy of probabilistic and margin based approaches to multiclass and structured prediction.

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