Multiclass Learning by Probabilistic Embeddings

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 15 (NIPS 2002)

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Ofer Dekel, Yoram Singer


We describe a new algorithmic framework for learning multiclass catego- rization problems. In this framework a multiclass predictor is composed of a pair of embeddings that map both instances and labels into a common space. In this space each instance is assigned the label it is nearest to. We outline and analyze an algorithm, termed Bunching, for learning the pair of embeddings from labeled data. A key construction in the analysis of the algorithm is the notion of probabilistic output codes, a generaliza- tion of error correcting output codes (ECOC). Furthermore, the method of multiclass categorization using ECOC is shown to be an instance of Bunching. We demonstrate the advantage of Bunching over ECOC by comparing their performance on numerous categorization problems.