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Online Learning with Pairwise Loss Functions

by   Yuyang Wang, et al.
Tufts University
Akamai Technologies

Efficient online learning with pairwise loss functions is a crucial component in building large-scale learning system that maximizes the area under the Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) curve. In this paper we investigate the generalization performance of online learning algorithms with pairwise loss functions. We show that the existing proof techniques for generalization bounds of online algorithms with a univariate loss can not be directly applied to pairwise losses. In this paper, we derive the first result providing data-dependent bounds for the average risk of the sequence of hypotheses generated by an arbitrary online learner in terms of an easily computable statistic, and show how to extract a low risk hypothesis from the sequence. We demonstrate the generality of our results by applying it to two important problems in machine learning. First, we analyze two online algorithms for bipartite ranking; one being a natural extension of the perceptron algorithm and the other using online convex optimization. Secondly, we provide an analysis for the risk bound for an online algorithm for supervised metric learning.


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