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Homework 3

For the third homework, the maximum number of uploads is limited to 5. A detailed explanation of this step is on its own page.

SVM classifier training

One of the most popular classifiers is SVM (support vector machine). Let us have $n$ observations $\mathbf x_1,\dots,\mathbf x_n\in\mathbb R^d$. For simplicity, let's assume that this is a binary classification with labels $y_1,\dots,y_n\in\{-1,1\}$, and that the bias is already embedded in the data. SVM searches for a linear separating hyperplane $\mathbf w^\top \mathbf x$ by introducing an auxiliary variable $\xi_i\ge 0$ for each observation $i$ that measures the misclassification rate. It achieves this using a condition $$ \xi_i \ge 1 - y_i\mathbf w^\top \mathbf x_i. $$ Since we will want to minimize $\xi_i$, we will reach its minimum value for $y_i\mathbf w^\top \mathbf x_i\ge 1$. Thus, for the label $y_i=1$ we want the condition $\mathbf w^\top \mathbf x_i\ge 1$ and similarly for the negative label. This is a stronger condition than the classical $\mathbf w^\top \mathbf x_i\ge 0$. In other words, SVM tries to achieve a certain distance of well-classified observations from the separating hyperplane, which adds robustness.

The entire optimization problem can then be written as \begin{align*} \operatorname*{minimize}_{w,\xi}\qquad &C\sum_{i=1}^n\xi_i + \frac12||\mathbf w||^2 \\ \text{under conditions}\qquad &\xi_i \ge 1 - y_i\mathbf w^\top \mathbf x_i, \\ &\xi_i\ge 0. \end{align*} The regularization $\frac12||\mathbf w||^2$ and the regularization constant $C>0$ appeared in the objective function. Although this problem can be solved in this formulation, it is converted to a dual formulation by default \begin{align*} \operatorname*{maximize}_{z}\qquad &-\frac12\mathbf z^\top Q\mathbf z + \sum_{i=1}^nz_i \\ \text{under conditions}\qquad &0\le z_i\le C, \end{align*} where the matrix $Q$ has elements $q_{ij}=y_iy_j\mathbf x_i^\top \mathbf x_j$. There is a connection between the primal and dual problems. First, their optimal values coincide. Second, when we solve the dual problem, the solution of the primal problem is obtained by $\mathbf w=\sum_{i=1}^ny_iz_i\mathbf x_i$.

This problem can be solved using the method coordinate descent. This method updates only one component of the vector $\mathbf z$ in each iteration. Therefore, in each iteration, we fix some $i$ and we replace the optimization over $\mathbf z$ by the optimization over $\mathbf z+d\mathbf e_i$, where $\mathbf e_i$ is the zero vector with one on component $i$. In each iteration we then solve \begin{align*} \operatorname*{maximize}_d\qquad &-\frac12(\mathbf z+d\mathbf e_i)^\top Q(\mathbf z+d\mathbf e_i) + \sum_{i=1}^nz_i + d \\ \text{under conditions}\qquad &0\le z_i + d\le C. \end{align*} This optimization problem is simple since $d\in\mathbb R$ and there is a closed-form solution. This procedure is repeated for a given number of epochs, where one epoch performs the above-mentioned iterations for $i=1$, $i=2$ up to $i=n$.


Implement the functions Q = computeQ(X, y), w = computeW(X, y, z), z = solve_SVM_dual(Q, C; max_epoch) and w = solve_SVM (X, y, C; kwargs…). This diagram shows both input and output arguments. In more detail, these arguments are:

  • X: matrix of $n\times d$ input data;
  • y: vector of $n$ input labels;
  • C: positive regularization constant;
  • w: vector of the solution of the primal problem $\mathbf w$;
  • z: vector of the solution of the dual problem $\mathbf z$;
  • Q: matrix of the dual problem $Q$.

The computeQ function computes the Q matrix and the computeW function computes the w from the dual solution. The solve_SVM_dual function takes as inputs the parameters of the dual problem and does max_epoch epochs (therefore n*max_epoch iterations) of the coordinate descent method. The solution should be initialized as $z=0$. The solve_SVM function combines the previous functions into one.

Finally, write the function w = iris(C; kwargs…) which will load the iris dataset, as positive class it will consider versicolor, as negative class virginica, as features it will use PetalLength and PetalWidth, normalizes these inputs, adds a bias (as the last column of $X$), and finally uses the functions written above to calculate the optimal separating hyperplane w.

Writing the following tests is not necessary. However, it can help you to debug your code. For example, you can:

  • Verify the correctness of the dual solution by trying a large number of different values of $d$.
  • Verify the equality of the optimal values of the primal and dual problem.
  • Verify correct propagation of kwargs by replacing them with different values of max_epoch.
  • Anything else.
courses/b0b36jul/en/hw/hw3.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/14 14:05 by adamluk3