What Makes Objects Similar: A Unified Multi-Metric Learning Approach

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Han-Jia Ye, De-Chuan Zhan, Xue-Min Si, Yuan Jiang, Zhi-Hua Zhou


Linkages are essentially determined by similarity measures that may be derived from multiple perspectives. For example, spatial linkages are usually generated based on localities of heterogeneous data, whereas semantic linkages can come from various properties, such as different physical meanings behind social relations. Many existing metric learning models focus on spatial linkages, but leave the rich semantic factors unconsidered. Similarities based on these models are usually overdetermined on linkages. We propose a Unified Multi-Metric Learning (UM2L) framework to exploit multiple types of metrics. In UM2L, a type of combination operator is introduced for distance characterization from multiple perspectives, and thus can introduce flexibilities for representing and utilizing both spatial and semantic linkages. Besides, we propose a uniform solver for UM2L which is guaranteed to converge. Extensive experiments on diverse applications exhibit the superior classification performance and comprehensibility of UM2L. Visualization results also validate its ability on physical meanings discovery.