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Structure Spaces

Brijnesh J. Jain, Klaus Obermayer; 10(93):2667−2714, 2009.


Finite structures such as point patterns, strings, trees, and graphs occur as "natural" representations of structured data in different application areas of machine learning. We develop the theory of structure spaces and derive geometrical and analytical concepts such as the angle between structures and the derivative of functions on structures. In particular, we show that the gradient of a differentiable structural function is a well-defined structure pointing in the direction of steepest ascent. Exploiting the properties of structure spaces, it will turn out that a number of problems in structural pattern recognition such as central clustering or learning in structured output spaces can be formulated as optimization problems with cost functions that are locally Lipschitz. Hence, methods from nonsmooth analysis are applicable to optimize those cost functions.

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