Convex Multiple-Instance Learning by Estimating Likelihood Ratio

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Fuxin Li, Cristian Sminchisescu


Multiple-Instance learning has been long known as a hard non-convex problem. In this work, we propose an approach that recasts it as a convex likelihood ratio estimation problem. Firstly, the constraint in multiple-instance learning is reformulated into a convex constraint on the likelihood ratio. Then we show that a joint estimation of a likelihood ratio function and the likelihood on training instances can be learned convexly. Theoretically, we prove a quantitative relationship between the risk estimated under the 0-1 classification loss, and under a loss function for likelihood ratio estimation. It is shown that our likelihood ratio estimation is generally a good surrogate for the 0-1 loss, and separates positive and negative instances well. However with the joint estimation it tends to underestimate the likelihood of an example to be positive. We propose to use these likelihood ratio estimates as features, and learn a linear combination on them to classify the bags. Experiments on synthetic and real datasets show the superiority of the approach.