Moreau-Yosida Regularization for Grouped Tree Structure Learning

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

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Jun Liu, Jieping Ye


We consider the tree structured group Lasso where the structure over the features can be represented as a tree with leaf nodes as features and internal nodes as clusters of the features. The structured regularization with a pre-defined tree structure is based on a group-Lasso penalty, where one group is defined for each node in the tree. Such a regularization can help uncover the structured sparsity, which is desirable for applications with some meaningful tree structures on the features. However, the tree structured group Lasso is challenging to solve due to the complex regularization. In this paper, we develop an efficient algorithm for the tree structured group Lasso. One of the key steps in the proposed algorithm is to solve the Moreau-Yosida regularization associated with the grouped tree structure. The main technical contributions of this paper include (1) we show that the associated Moreau-Yosida regularization admits an analytical solution, and (2) we develop an efficient algorithm for determining the effective interval for the regularization parameter. Our experimental results on the AR and JAFFE face data sets demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.