Introduction to Coresets: Accurate Coresets

by   Ibrahim Jubran, et al.

A coreset (or core-set) of an input set is its small summation, such that solving a problem on the coreset as its input, provably yields the same result as solving the same problem on the original (full) set, for a given family of problems (models, classifiers, loss functions). Over the past decade, coreset construction algorithms have been suggested for many fundamental problems in e.g. machine/deep learning, computer vision, graphics, databases, and theoretical computer science. This introductory paper was written following requests from (usually non-expert, but also colleagues) regarding the many inconsistent coreset definitions, lack of available source code, the required deep theoretical background from different fields, and the dense papers that make it hard for beginners to apply coresets and develop new ones. The paper provides folklore, classic and simple results including step-by-step proofs and figures, for the simplest (accurate) coresets of very basic problems, such as: sum of vectors, minimum enclosing ball, SVD/ PCA and linear regression. Nevertheless, we did not find most of their constructions in the literature. Moreover, we expect that putting them together in a retrospective context would help the reader to grasp modern results that usually extend and generalize these fundamental observations. Experts might appreciate the unified notation and comparison table that links between existing results. Open source code with example scripts are provided for all the presented algorithms, to demonstrate their practical usage, and to support the readers who are more familiar with programming than math.



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