Representative Vector Machines: A Unified Framework for Classical Classifiers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, 2016, 46 (8), pp. 1877 - 1888
Issue Date:
2016-08-01
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© 2015 IEEE. Classifier design is a fundamental problem in pattern recognition. A variety of pattern classification methods such as the nearest neighbor (NN) classifier, support vector machine (SVM), and sparse representation-based classification (SRC) have been proposed in the literature. These typical and widely used classifiers were originally developed from different theory or application motivations and they are conventionally treated as independent and specific solutions for pattern classification. This paper proposes a novel pattern classification framework, namely, representative vector machines (or RVMs for short). The basic idea of RVMs is to assign the class label of a test example according to its nearest representative vector. The contributions of RVMs are twofold. On one hand, the proposed RVMs establish a unified framework of classical classifiers because NN, SVM, and SRC can be interpreted as the special cases of RVMs with different definitions of representative vectors. Thus, the underlying relationship among a number of classical classifiers is revealed for better understanding of pattern classification. On the other hand, novel and advanced classifiers are inspired in the framework of RVMs. For example, a robust pattern classification method called discriminant vector machine (DVM) is motivated from RVMs. Given a test example, DVM first finds its k-NNs and then performs classification based on the robust M-estimator and manifold regularization. Extensive experimental evaluations on a variety of visual recognition tasks such as face recognition (Yale and face recognition grand challenge databases), object categorization (Caltech-101 dataset), and action recognition (Action Similarity LAbeliNg) demonstrate the advantages of DVM over other classifiers.
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