Prateek Jain, Brian Kulis, Inderjit Dhillon
In this paper we consider the fundamental problem of semi-supervised kernel function learning. We propose a general regularized framework for learning a kernel matrix, and then demonstrate an equivalence between our proposed kernel matrix learning framework and a general linear transformation learning problem. Our result shows that the learned kernel matrices parameterize a linear transformation kernel function and can be applied inductively to new data points. Furthermore, our result gives a constructive method for kernelizing most existing Mahalanobis metric learning formulations. To make our results practical for large-scale data, we modify our framework to limit the number of parameters in the optimization process. We also consider the problem of kernelized inductive dimensionality reduction in the semi-supervised setting. We introduce a novel method for this problem by considering a special case of our general kernel learning framework where we select the trace norm function as the regularizer. We empirically demonstrate that our framework learns useful kernel functions, improving the $k$-NN classification accuracy significantly in a variety of domains. Furthermore, our kernelized dimensionality reduction technique significantly reduces the dimensionality of the feature space while achieving competitive classification accuracies.