Kernel Logistic Regression and the Import Vector Machine

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 14 (NIPS 2001)

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Ji Zhu, Trevor Hastie


The support vector machine (SVM) is known for its good performance in binary classification, but its extension to multi-class classification is still an on-going research issue. In this paper, we propose a new approach for classification, called the import vector machine (IVM), which is built on kernel logistic regression (KLR). We show that the IVM not only per- forms as well as the SVM in binary classification, but also can naturally be generalized to the multi-class case. Furthermore, the IVM provides an estimate of the underlying probability. Similar to the “support points” of the SVM, the IVM model uses only a fraction of the training data to index kernel basis functions, typically a much smaller fraction than the SVM. This gives the IVM a computational advantage over the SVM, especially when the size of the training data set is large.

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