Kernels on Structured Objects Through Nested Histograms

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19 (NIPS 2006)

Bibtex Metadata Paper


Marco Cuturi, Kenji Fukumizu


We propose a family of kernels for structured objects which is based on the bag-ofcomponents paradigm. However, rather than decomposing each complex object into the single histogram of its components, we use for each object a family of nested histograms, where each histogram in this hierarchy describes the object seen from an increasingly granular perspective. We use this hierarchy of histograms to define elementary kernels which can detect coarse and fine similarities between the objects. We compute through an efficient averaging trick a mixture of such specific kernels, to propose a final kernel value which weights efficiently local and global matches. We propose experimental results on an image retrieval experiment which show that this mixture is an effective template procedure to be used with kernels on histograms.