Latent Support Measure Machines for Bag-of-Words Data Classification

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Yuya Yoshikawa, Tomoharu Iwata, Hiroshi Sawada


In many classification problems, the input is represented as a set of features, e.g., the bag-of-words (BoW) representation of documents. Support vector machines (SVMs) are widely used tools for such classification problems. The performance of the SVMs is generally determined by whether kernel values between data points can be defined properly. However, SVMs for BoW representations have a major weakness in that the co-occurrence of different but semantically similar words cannot be reflected in the kernel calculation. To overcome the weakness, we propose a kernel-based discriminative classifier for BoW data, which we call the latent support measure machine (latent SMM). With the latent SMM, a latent vector is associated with each vocabulary term, and each document is represented as a distribution of the latent vectors for words appearing in the document. To represent the distributions efficiently, we use the kernel embeddings of distributions that hold high order moment information about distributions. Then the latent SMM finds a separating hyperplane that maximizes the margins between distributions of different classes while estimating latent vectors for words to improve the classification performance. In the experiments, we show that the latent SMM achieves state-of-the-art accuracy for BoW text classification, is robust with respect to its own hyper-parameters, and is useful to visualize words.