M.Sc Student | Rubinstein Eitan |
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Subject | Support Vector Machines via Advanced Optimization Techniques to Robust Optimization |

Department | Department of Electrical Engineering |

Supervisors | Dr. Michael Zibulevsky |

Professor Arkadi Nemirovski |

The most basic problem considered in Machine Learning is the
supervised binary *data classification*, where one is given a *training
sample* - a random sample (*x _{i} , y_{i}*),

The SVM approach is the most frequently used technique for solving the outlined problem (same as other classification problems arising in Machine Learning). With this approach the classifier is given by an optimal solution to a specific convex optimization problem. While the theoretical background of SVM is given by a well-developed and deep Statistical Learning Theory, the computational tools used traditionally in the SVM context (that is, numerical techniques for solving the resulting convex programs) are not exactly state-of-the-art of modern Convex Optimization, especially when the underlying data sets are very large (tens of thousands of examples with high-dimensional attribute vectors in the training sample). In the large- scale case, one can not use the most advanced, in terms of the rate of convergence, convex optimization techniques (Interior Point methods), since the cost of iteration in such a method (which grows nonlinearly with the sizes of the training data) becomes too large to be practical. At the same time, from the purely optimization viewpoint, the “computationally cheap” optimization methods routinely used in the large-scale SVM’s seem to be somehow obsolete.

The goal of the thesis is to investigate the potential of
recent advances in “computationally cheap” techniques for extremely large-scale
convex optimization in the SVM context. Specifically we utilized here the *Mirror
Prox* algorithm (A. Nemirovski, 2004). The research focused on (a)
representing the SVM optimization programs in the specific *saddle point*
form required by the algorithm, (b) adjusting the algorithm to the structure of
the SVM problems, and (c) software implementation and testing the algorithm on
the large-scale SVM data, with the ultimate goal to develop a novel
theoretically solid and computationally efficient optimization techniques for
SVM-based supervised binary classification.