A Unifying Viewpoint of some Clustering Techniques Using Bregman Divergences and Extensions to Mixed Data Sets

DMAI 2008 11th IEEE International Conf on Comp Info Tech, Khulna, Bangladesh (December 2008)
A Unifying Viewpoint of some Clustering Techniques Using Bregman Divergences and Extensions to Mixed Data Sets
Cecile Levasseur, Brandon Burdge, Ken Kreutz-Delgado, Uwe Mayer

We present a general viewpoint using Bregman divergences and exponential family properties that contains as special cases the three following algorithms: 1) exponential family Principal Component Analysis (exponential PCA), 2) Semi-Parametric exponential family Principal Component Analysis (SP-PCA) and 3) Bregman soft clustering. This framework is equivalent to a mixed data-type hierarchical Bayes graphical model assumption with latent variables constrained to a low-dimensional parameter subspace. We show that within this framework exponential PCA and SPPCA are similar to the Bregman soft clustering technique with the addition of a linear constraint in the parameter space. We implement the resulting modifications to SP-PCA and Bregman soft clustering for mixed (continuous and/or discrete) data sets, and add a nonparametric estimation of the point-mass probabilities to exponential PCA. Finally, we compare the relative performances of the three algorithms in a clustering setting for mixed data sets.

Another publication from the same author:

Proceedings of the Sixteenth ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA (2015)

Canary in the e-Commerce Coal Mine: Detecting and Predicting Poor Experiences Using Buyer-to-Seller Messages

Dimitriy Masterov, Uwe Mayer, Steve Tadelis

Reputation and feedback systems in online marketplaces are often biased, making it difficult to ascertain the quality of sellers. We use post-transaction, buyer-to-seller message traffic to detect signals of unsatisfactory transactions on eBay. We posit that a message sent after the item was paid for serves as a reliable indicator that the buyer may be unhappy with that purchase, particularly when the message included words associated with a negative experience. The fraction of a seller's message traffic that was negative predicts whether a buyer who transacts with this seller will stop purchasing on eBay, implying that platforms can use these messages as an additional signal of seller quality.

Another publication from the same category: Machine Learning and Data Science

IEEE Computing Conference 2018, London, UK

Regularization of the Kernel Matrix via Covariance Matrix Shrinkage Estimation

The kernel trick concept, formulated as an inner product in a feature space, facilitates powerful extensions to many well-known algorithms. While the kernel matrix involves inner products in the feature space, the sample covariance matrix of the data requires outer products. Therefore, their spectral properties are tightly connected. This allows us to examine the kernel matrix through the sample covariance matrix in the feature space and vice versa. The use of kernels often involves a large number of features, compared to the number of observations. In this scenario, the sample covariance matrix is not well-conditioned nor is it necessarily invertible, mandating a solution to the problem of estimating high-dimensional covariance matrices under small sample size conditions. We tackle this problem through the use of a shrinkage estimator that offers a compromise between the sample covariance matrix and a well-conditioned matrix (also known as the "target") with the aim of minimizing the mean-squared error (MSE). We propose a distribution-free kernel matrix regularization approach that is tuned directly from the kernel matrix, avoiding the need to address the feature space explicitly. Numerical simulations demonstrate that the proposed regularization is effective in classification tasks.