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Parameter Free Large Margin Nearest Neighbor for Distance Metric Learning

Last modified: 2017-02-13

#### Abstract

We introduce a novel supervised metric learning algorithm named parameter free large margin nearest neighbor (PFLMNN) which can be seen as an improvement of the classical large margin nearest neighbor (LMNN) algorithm. The contributions of our work consist of two aspects. First, our method discards the costterm which shrinks the distances between inquiry input and its k target neighbors (the k nearest neighbors with same labels as inquiry input) in LMNN, and only focuses on improving the action to push the imposters (the samples with different labels form the inquiry input) apart out of the neighborhood of inquiry. As a result, our method does not have the parameter needed to tune on the validating set, which makes it more convenient to use. Second, by leveraging the geometry information of the imposters, we construct a novel cost function to penalize the smalldistances between each inquiry and its imposters. Different from LMNN considering every imposter located in the neighborhood of each inquiry, our method only takes care of the nearest imposters. Because when the nearest imposter is pushed out of the neighborhood of its inquiry, other imposters would be all out. In this way, the constraints in our model are much less than that of LMNN, which makes our method much easier to find the optimal distance metric. Consequently, our method not only learns a better distance metric than LMNN, but also runs faster than LMNN. Extensive experiments on different data sets with various sizes and difficulties are conducted, and the results have shown that, compared with LMNN, PFLMNN achieves better classification results.

#### Keywords

large margin; kNN; distance metric learning

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