Optimizing kernel machines using deep learning

Huan Song, Jayaraman J. Thiagarajan, Prasanna Sattigeri, Andreas Spanias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Building highly nonlinear and nonparametric models is central to several state-of-the-art machine learning systems. Kernel methods form an important class of techniques that induce a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) for inferring non-linear models through the construction of similarity functions from data. These methods are particularly preferred in cases where the training data sizes are limited and when prior knowledge of the data similarities is available. Despite their usefulness, they are limited by the computational complexity and their inability to support end-to-end learning with a task-specific objective. On the other hand, deep neural networks have become the de facto solution for end-to-end inference in several learning paradigms. In this paper, we explore the idea of using deep architectures to perform kernel machine optimization, for both computational efficiency and end-to-end inferencing. To this end, we develop the deep kernel machine optimization framework, that creates an ensemble of dense embeddings using Nyström kernel approximations and utilizes deep learning to generate task-specific representations through the fusion of the embeddings. Intuitively, the filters of the network are trained to fuse information from an ensemble of linear subspaces in the RKHS. Furthermore, we introduce the kernel dropout regularization to enable improved training convergence. Finally, we extend this framework to the multiple kernel case, by coupling a global fusion layer with pretrained deep kernel machines for each of the constituent kernels. Using case studies with limited training data, and lack of explicit feature sources, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework over conventional model inferencing techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8307246
Pages (from-to)5528-5540
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Deep neural networks (DNNs)
  • Nyström approximation
  • kernel methods
  • multiple kernel learning (MKL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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