Hierarchical learning : theory with applications in speech and vision
Author(s)Bouvrie, Jacob V
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
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Over the past two decades several hierarchical learning models have been developed and applied to a diverse range of practical tasks with much success. Little is known, however, as to why such models work as well as they do. Indeed, most are difficult to analyze, and cannot be easily characterized using the established tools from statistical learning theory. In this thesis, we study hierarchical learning architectures from two complementary perspectives: one theoretical and the other empirical. The theoretical component of the thesis centers on a mathematical framework describing a general family of hierarchical learning architectures. The primary object of interest is a recursively defined feature map, and its associated kernel. The class of models we consider exploit the fact that data in a wide variety of problems satisfy a decomposability property. Paralleling the primate visual cortex, hierarchies are assembled from alternating filtering and pooling stages that build progressively invariant representations which are simultaneously selective for increasingly complex stimuli. A goal of central importance in the study of hierarchical architectures and the cortex alike, is that of understanding quantitatively the tradeoff between invariance and selectivity, and how invariance and selectivity contribute towards providing an improved representation useful for learning from data. A reasonable expectation is that an unsupervised hierarchical representation will positively impact the sample complexity of a corresponding supervised learning task.(cont.) We therefore analyze invariance and discrimination properties that emerge in particular instances of layered models described within our framework. A group-theoretic analysis leads to a concise set of conditions which must be met to establish invariance, as well as a constructive prescription for meeting those conditions. An information-theoretic analysis is then undertaken and seen as a means by which to characterize a model's discrimination properties. The empirical component of the thesis experimentally evaluates key assumptions built into the mathematical framework. In the case of images, we present simulations which support the hypothesis that layered architectures can reduce the sample complexity of a non-trivial learning problem. In the domain of speech, we describe a 3 localized analysis technique that leads to a noise-robust representation. The resulting biologically-motivated features are found to outperform traditional methods on a standard phonetic classification task in both clean and noisy conditions.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 2009.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 123-132).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brain and Cognitive Sciences.