Section: New Results
Large-Scale Learning with Higher-Order Risk Functionals
In  , we studied learning problems where the performance criterion consists of an average over tuples (e.g., pairs or triplets) of observations rather than over individual observations, as in many learning problems involving networked data (e.g., link prediction), but also in metric learning and ranking. In this setting, the empirical risk to be optimized takes the form of a -statistic, and its terms are highly dependent and thus violate the classic i.i.d. assumption. In this work, we focused on how to best implement a stochastic approximation approach to solve such risk minimization problems in the large-scale setting. We argue that gradient estimates should be obtained by sampling tuples of data points with replacement (incomplete -statistics) rather than sampling data points without replacement (complete -statistics based on subsamples). We develop a theoretical framework accounting for the substantial impact of this strategy on the generalization ability of the prediction model returned by the Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) algorithm. It reveals that the method we promote achieves a much better trade-off between statistical accuracy and computational cost. Beyond the rate bound analysis, we provide strong empirical evidence of the superiority of the proposed approach on metric learning and ranking problems.