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Learning and Selecting Features Jointly with Point-wise Gated Boltzmann Machines

Kihyuk Sohn, Guanyu Zhou, Chansoo Lee, Honglak Lee
JMLR W&CP 28 (2) : 217–225, 2013


Unsupervised feature learning has emerged as a promising tool in learning representations from unlabeled data. However, it is still challenging to learn useful high-level features when the data contains a significant amount of irrelevant patterns. Although feature selection can be used for such complex data, it may fail when we have to build a learning system from scratch (i.e., starting from the lack of useful raw features). To address this problem, we propose a point-wise gated Boltzmann machine, a unified generative model that combines feature learning and feature selection. Our model performs not only feature selection on learned high-level features (i.e., hidden units), but also dynamic feature selection on raw features (i.e., visible units) through a gating mechanism. For each example, the model can adaptively focus on a variable subset of visible nodes corresponding to the task-relevant patterns, while ignoring the visible units corresponding to the task-irrelevant patterns. In experiments, our method achieves improved performance over state-of-the-art in several visual recognition benchmarks.

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