Extreme Components Analysis

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 (NIPS 2003)

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Max Welling, Christopher Williams, Felix Agakov


Principal components analysis (PCA) is one of the most widely used techniques in machine learning and data mining. Minor components analysis (MCA) is less well known, but can also play an important role in the presence of constraints on the data distribution. In this paper we present a probabilistic model for “extreme components analysis” (XCA) which at the maximum likelihood solution extracts an optimal combina- tion of principal and minor components. For a given number of compo- nents, the log-likelihood of the XCA model is guaranteed to be larger or equal than that of the probabilistic models for PCA and MCA. We de- scribe an efficient algorithm to solve for the globally optimal solution. For log-convex spectra we prove that the solution consists of principal components only, while for log-concave spectra the solution consists of minor components. In general, the solution admits a combination of both. In experiments we explore the properties of XCA on some synthetic and real-world datasets.