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Output Space Search for Structured Prediction

06/27/2012
by   Janardhan Rao Doppa, et al.
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We consider a framework for structured prediction based on search in the space of complete structured outputs. Given a structured input, an output is produced by running a time-bounded search procedure guided by a learned cost function, and then returning the least cost output uncovered during the search. This framework can be instantiated for a wide range of search spaces and search procedures, and easily incorporates arbitrary structured-prediction loss functions. In this paper, we make two main technical contributions. First, we define the limited-discrepancy search space over structured outputs, which is able to leverage powerful classification learning algorithms to improve the search space quality. Second, we give a generic cost function learning approach, where the key idea is to learn a cost function that attempts to mimic the behavior of conducting searches guided by the true loss function. Our experiments on six benchmark domains demonstrate that using our framework with only a small amount of search is sufficient for significantly improving on state-of-the-art structured-prediction performance.

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