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Information-Theoretic Metric Learning

Information-Theoretic Metric Learning

This video was recorded at NIPS Workshop on Learning to Compare Examples, Whistler 2006. We formulate the metric learning problem as that of minimizing the differential relative entropy between two multivariate Gaussians under constraints on the Mahalanobis distance function. Via a surprising equivalence, we show that this problem can be solved as a low-rank kernel learning problem. Specifically, we minimize the Burg divergence of a low-rank kernel to an input kernel, subject to pairwise distance constraints. Our approach has several advantages over existing methods. First, we present a natural information-theoretic formulation for the problem. Second, the algorithm utilizes the methods developed by Kulis et al. [6], which do not involve any eigenvector computation; in particular, the running time of our method is faster than most existing techniques. Third, the formulation offers insights into connections between metric learning and kernel learning.


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