Published on Thu Dec 29 2016

Meta-Unsupervised-Learning: A supervised approach to unsupervised learning

Vikas K. Garg, Adam Tauman Kalai

We mitigate subjectivity in unsupervised decision-making by leveraging knowledge acquired from prior, possibly heterogeneous, supervised learning tasks. We demonstrate the versatility of our framework via comprehensive expositions and detailed experiments. We also provide rigorous PAC-agnostic bounds.

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Abstract

We introduce a new paradigm to investigate unsupervised learning, reducing unsupervised learning to supervised learning. Specifically, we mitigate the subjectivity in unsupervised decision-making by leveraging knowledge acquired from prior, possibly heterogeneous, supervised learning tasks. We demonstrate the versatility of our framework via comprehensive expositions and detailed experiments on several unsupervised problems such as (a) clustering, (b) outlier detection, and (c) similarity prediction under a common umbrella of meta-unsupervised-learning. We also provide rigorous PAC-agnostic bounds to establish the theoretical foundations of our framework, and show that our framing of meta-clustering circumvents Kleinberg's impossibility theorem for clustering.