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Kernel methods have been successfully applied in various applications. To succeed in these applications, it is crucial to learn a good kernel representation, whose objective is to reveal the data similarity precisely. In this paper, we address the problem of multiple kernel learning (MKL), searching for the optimal kernel combination weights through maximizing a generalized performance measure. Most MKL methods employ the -norm simplex constraints on the kernel combination weights, which therefore involve a sparse but non-smooth solution for the kernel weights. Despite the success of their efficiency, they tend to discard informative complementary or orthogonal base kernels and yield degenerated generalization performance. Alternatively, imposing the -norm constraint on the kernel weights will keep all the information in the base kernels. This leads to non-sparse solutions and brings the risk of being sensitive to noise and incorporating redundant information. To tackle these problems, we propose a generalized MKL (GMKL) model by introducing an elastic-net-type constraint on the kernel weights. More specifically, it is an MKL model with a constraint on a linear combination of the -norm and the squared -norm on the kernel weights to seek the optimal kernel combination weights. Therefore, previous MKL problems based on the -norm or the -norm constraints can be regarded as special cases. Furthermore, our GMKL enjoys the favorable sparsity property on the solution and also facilitates the grouping effect. Moreover, the optimization of our GMKL is a convex optimization problem, where a local solution is the global optimal solution. We further derive a level method to efficiently solve the optimization problem. A series of experiments on both synthetic and real-world datasets have been conducted to show the effectiveness and efficiency of our GMKL.
Date of Publication: March 2011