On the Error Resistance of Hinge-Loss Minimization

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

AuthorFeedback Bibtex MetaReview Paper Review Supplemental


Kunal Talwar


Commonly used classification algorithms in machine learning, such as support vector machines, minimize a convex surrogate loss on training examples. In practice, these algorithms are surprisingly robust to errors in the training data. In this work, we identify a set of conditions on the data under which such surrogate loss minimization algorithms provably learn the correct classifier. This allows us to establish, in a unified framework, the robustness of these algorithms under various models on data as well as error. In particular, we show that if the data is linearly classifiable with a slightly non-trivial margin (i.e. a margin at least $C\div\sqrt{d}$ for $d$-dimensional unit vectors), and the class-conditional distributions are near isotropic and logconcave, then surrogate loss minimization has negligible error on the uncorrupted data even when a constant fraction of examples are adversarially mislabeled.