Subset Selection and Summarization in Sequential Data

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (NIPS 2017)

Bibtex Metadata Paper Reviews Supplemental


Ehsan Elhamifar, M. Clara De Paolis Kaluza


Subset selection, which is the task of finding a small subset of representative items from a large ground set, finds numerous applications in different areas. Sequential data, including time-series and ordered data, contain important structural relationships among items, imposed by underlying dynamic models of data, that should play a vital role in the selection of representatives. However, nearly all existing subset selection techniques ignore underlying dynamics of data and treat items independently, leading to incompatible sets of representatives. In this paper, we develop a new framework for sequential subset selection that finds a set of representatives compatible with the dynamic models of data. To do so, we equip items with transition dynamic models and pose the problem as an integer binary optimization over assignments of sequential items to representatives, that leads to high encoding, diversity and transition potentials. Our formulation generalizes the well-known facility location objective to deal with sequential data, incorporating transition dynamics among facilities. As the proposed formulation is non-convex, we derive a max-sum message passing algorithm to solve the problem efficiently. Experiments on synthetic and real data, including instructional video summarization, show that our sequential subset selection framework not only achieves better encoding and diversity than the state of the art, but also successfully incorporates dynamics of data, leading to compatible representatives.