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Hierarchical Regularization Cascade for Joint Learning

Alon Zweig, Daphna Weinshall
JMLR W&CP 28 (3) : 37–45, 2013


As the sheer volume of available benchmark datasets increases, the problem of joint learning of classifiers and knowledge-transfer between classifiers, becomes more and more relevant. We present a hierarchical approach which exploits information sharing among different classification tasks, in multi-task and multi-class settings. It engages a top-down iterative method, which begins by posing an optimization problem with an incentive for large scale sharing among all classes. This incentive to share is gradually decreased,until there is no sharing and all tasks are considered separately. The method therefore exploits different levels of sharing within a given group of related tasks, without having to make hard decisions about the grouping of tasks. In order to deal with large scale problems, with many tasks and many classes, we extend our batch approach to an online setting and provide regret analysis of the algorithm. We tested our approach extensively on synthetic and real datasets, showing significant improvement over baseline and state-of-the-art methods.

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