NIPS Proceedingsβ

Group Sparse Coding

Part of: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Bag-of-words document representations are often used in text, image and video processing. While it is relatively easy to determine a suitable word dictionary for text documents, there is no simple mapping from raw images or videos to dictionary terms. The classical approach builds a dictionary using vector quantization over a large set of useful visual descriptors extracted from a training set, and uses a nearest-neighbor algorithm to count the number of occurrences of each dictionary word in documents to be encoded. More robust approaches have been proposed recently that represent each visual descriptor as a sparse weighted combination of dictionary words. While favoring a sparse representation at the level of visual descriptors, those methods however do not ensure that images have sparse representation. In this work, we use mixed-norm regularization to achieve sparsity at the image level as well as a small overall dictionary. This approach can also be used to encourage using the same dictionary words for all the images in a class, providing a discriminative signal in the construction of image representations. Experimental results on a benchmark image classification dataset show that when compact image or dictionary representations are needed for computational efficiency, the proposed approach yields better mean average precision in classification.