Sparse coding is an unsupervised learning algorithm that learns a succinct high-level representation of the inputs given only unlabeled data; it represents each input as a sparse linear combination of a set of basis functions. Originally applied to modeling the human visual cortex, sparse coding has also been shown to be useful for self-taught learning, in which the goal is to solve a supervised classification task given access to additional unlabeled data drawn from different classes than that in the supervised learning problem. Shift-invariant sparse coding (SISC) is an extension of sparse coding which reconstructs a (usually time-series) input using all of the basis functions in all possible shifts. In this paper, we present an efficient algorithm for learning SISC bases. Our method is based on iteratively solving two large convex optimization problems: The first, which computes the linear coefficients, is an L1-regularized linear least squares problem with potentially hundreds of thousands of variables. Existing methods typically use a heuristic to select a small subset of the variables to optimize, but we present a way to efficiently compute the exact solution. The second, which solves for bases, is a constrained linear least squares problem. By optimizing over complex-valued variables in the Fourier domain, we reduce the coupling between the different variables, allowing the problem to be solved efficiently. We show that SISC’s learned high-level representations of speech and music provide useful features for classification tasks within those domains. When applied to classification, under certain conditions the learned features outperform state of the art spectral and cepstral features.

**Authors:**Roger Grosse, Rajat Raina, Helen Kwong, Andrew Y. Ng (2007)**AUTHORED BY**

Roger Grosse

Rajat Raina

Helen Kwong

Andrew Y. Ng

Rajat Raina

Helen Kwong

Andrew Y. Ng

### Abstract

Sparse coding is an unsupervised learning algorithm that learns a succinct high-level representation of the inputs given only unlabeled data; it represents each input as a sparse linear combination of a set of basis functions. Originally applied to modeling the human visual cortex, sparse coding has also been shown to be useful for self-taught learning, in which the goal is to solve a supervised classification task given access to additional unlabeled data drawn from different classes than that in the supervised learning problem. Shift-invariant sparse coding (SISC) is an extension of sparse coding which reconstructs a (usually time-series) input using all of the basis functions in all possible shifts. In this paper, we present an efficient algorithm for learning SISC bases. Our method is based on iteratively solving two large convex optimization problems: The first, which computes the linear coefficients, is an L1-regularized linear least squares problem with potentially hundreds of thousands of variables. Existing methods typically use a heuristic to select a small subset of the variables to optimize, but we present a way to efficiently compute the exact solution. The second, which solves for bases, is a constrained linear least squares problem. By optimizing over complex-valued variables in the Fourier domain, we reduce the coupling between the different variables, allowing the problem to be solved efficiently. We show that SISC’s learned high-level representations of speech and music provide useful features for classification tasks within those domains. When applied to classification, under certain conditions the learned features outperform state of the art spectral and cepstral features.Download PDF

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