On hyperparameter tuning in general clustering problems

Jul 12, 2020

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Tuning hyperparameters for unsupervised learning problems is difficult in general due to the lack of ground truth for validation. However, the success of most clustering methods depends heavily on the correct choice of the involved hyperparameters. Take for example the Lagrange multipliers of penalty terms in semidefinite programming (SDP) relaxations of community detection in networks, or the bandwidth parameter needed in the Gaussian kernel used to construct similarity matrices for spectral clustering. Despite the popularity of these clustering algorithms, there are not many provable methods for tuning these hyperparameters. In this paper, we provide a overarching framework with provable guarantees for tuning hyperparameters in the above class of problems under two different models. Our framework can be augmented with a cross validation procedure to do model selection as well. In a variety of simulation and real data experiments, we show that our framework outperforms other widely used tuning procedures in a broad range of parameter settings.

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About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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