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Scaling Up Sparse Support Vector Machines by Simultaneous Feature and Sample Reduction

Bin Hong, Weizhong Zhang, Wei Liu, Jieping Ye, Deng Cai, Xiaofei He, Jie Wang; 20(121):1−39, 2019.


Sparse support vector machine (SVM) is a popular classification technique that can simultaneously learn a small set of the most interpretable features and identify the support vectors. It has achieved great successes in many real-world applications. However, for large-scale problems involving a huge number of samples and ultra-high dimensional features, solving sparse SVMs remains challenging. By noting that sparse SVMs induce sparsities in both feature and sample spaces, we propose a novel approach, which is based on accurate estimations of the primal and dual optima of sparse SVMs, to simultaneously identify the inactive features and samples that are guaranteed to be irrelevant to the outputs. Thus, we can remove the identified inactive samples and features from the training phase, leading to substantial savings in the computational cost without sacrificing the accuracy. Moreover, we show that our method can be extended to multi-class sparse support vector machines. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed method is the first static feature and sample reduction method for sparse SVMs and multi-class sparse SVMs. Experiments on both synthetic and real data sets demonstrate that our approach significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods and the speedup gained by our approach can be orders of magnitude.

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