Self Supervised Boosting

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 15 (NIPS 2002)

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Max Welling, Richard Zemel, Geoffrey E. Hinton


Boosting algorithms and successful applications thereof abound for clas- sification and regression learning problems, but not for unsupervised learning. We propose a sequential approach to adding features to a ran- dom field model by training them to improve classification performance between the data and an equal-sized sample of “negative examples” gen- erated from the model’s current estimate of the data density. Training in each boosting round proceeds in three stages: first we sample negative examples from the model’s current Boltzmann distribution. Next, a fea- ture is trained to improve classification performance between data and negative examples. Finally, a coefficient is learned which determines the importance of this feature relative to ones already in the pool. Negative examples only need to be generated once to learn each new feature. The validity of the approach is demonstrated on binary digits and continuous synthetic data.