Unsupervised Kernel Dimension Reduction

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

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Meihong Wang, Fei Sha, Michael Jordan


We apply the framework of kernel dimension reduction, originally designed for supervised problems, to unsupervised dimensionality reduction. In this framework, kernel-based measures of independence are used to derive low-dimensional representations that maximally capture information in covariates in order to predict responses. We extend this idea and develop similarly motivated measures for unsupervised problems where covariates and responses are the same. Our empirical studies show that the resulting compact representation yields meaningful and appealing visualization and clustering of data. Furthermore, when used in conjunction with supervised learners for classification, our methods lead to lower classification errors than state-of-the-art methods, especially when embedding data in spaces of very few dimensions.