Margin-Independent Online Multiclass Learning via Convex Geometry

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Guru Guruganesh, Allen Liu, Jon Schneider, Joshua Wang


We consider the problem of multi-class classification, where a stream of adversarially chosen queries arrive and must be assigned a label online. Unlike traditional bounds which seek to minimize the misclassification rate, we minimize the total distance from each query to the region corresponding to its assigned label. When the true labels are determined via a nearest neighbor partition -- i.e. the label of a point is given by which of $k$ centers it is closest to in Euclidean distance -- we show that one can achieve a loss that is independent of the total number of queries. We complement this result by showing that learning general convex sets requires an almost linear loss per query. Our results build off of regret guarantees for the problem of contextual search. In addition, we develop a novel reduction technique from multiclass classification to binary classification which may be of independent interest.