Target Neighbor Consistent Feature Weighting for Nearest Neighbor Classification

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24 (NIPS 2011)

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Ichiro Takeuchi, Masashi Sugiyama


We consider feature selection and weighting for nearest neighbor classifiers. A technical challenge in this scenario is how to cope with the discrete update of nearest neighbors when the feature space metric is changed during the learning process. This issue, called the target neighbor change, was not properly addressed in the existing feature weighting and metric learning literature. In this paper, we propose a novel feature weighting algorithm that can exactly and efficiently keep track of the correct target neighbors via sequential quadratic programming. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first algorithm that guarantees the consistency between target neighbors and the feature space metric. We further show that the proposed algorithm can be naturally combined with regularization path tracking, allowing computationally efficient selection of the regularization parameter. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm through experiments.