Online Importance Weight Aware Updates
Nikos Karampatziakis, John Langford
An importance weight quantifies the relative importance of one example over another, coming up in applications of boosting, asymmetric classification costs, reductions, and active learning. The standard approach for dealing with importance weights in gradient descent is via multiplication of the gradient. We first demonstrate the problems of this approach when importance weights are large, and argue in favor of more sophisticated ways for dealing with them. We then develop an approach which enjoys an invariance property: that updating twice with importance weight h is equivalent to updating once with importance weight 2h. For many important losses this has a closed form update which satisfies standard regret guarantees when all examples have h = 1. We also briefly discuss two other reasonable approaches for handling large importance weights. Empirically, these approaches yield substantially superior prediction with similar computational performance while reducing the sensitivity of the algorithm to the exact setting of the learning rate. We apply these to online active learning yielding an extraordinarily fast active learning algorithm that works even in the presence of adversarial noise.
PDF Link: /papers/11/p392-karampatziakis.pdf
AUTHOR = "Nikos Karampatziakis
and John Langford",
TITLE = "Online Importance Weight Aware Updates",
BOOKTITLE = "Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Conference Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI-11)",
PUBLISHER = "AUAI Press",
ADDRESS = "Corvallis, Oregon",
YEAR = "2011",
PAGES = "392--399"