On the benefits of output sparsity for multi-label classification

14 Mar 2017  ·  Evgenii Chzhen, Christophe Denis, Mohamed Hebiri, Joseph Salmon ·

The multi-label classification framework, where each observation can be associated with a set of labels, has generated a tremendous amount of attention over recent years. The modern multi-label problems are typically large-scale in terms of number of observations, features and labels, and the amount of labels can even be comparable with the amount of observations. In this context, different remedies have been proposed to overcome the curse of dimensionality. In this work, we aim at exploiting the output sparsity by introducing a new loss, called the sparse weighted Hamming loss. This proposed loss can be seen as a weighted version of classical ones, where active and inactive labels are weighted separately. Leveraging the influence of sparsity in the loss function, we provide improved generalization bounds for the empirical risk minimizer, a suitable property for large-scale problems. For this new loss, we derive rates of convergence linear in the underlying output-sparsity rather than linear in the number of labels. In practice, minimizing the associated risk can be performed efficiently by using convex surrogates and modern convex optimization algorithms. We provide experiments on various real-world datasets demonstrating the pertinence of our approach when compared to non-weighted techniques.

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