Publication
ICDM 2019
Conference paper

Efficient data representation by selecting prototypes with importance weights

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Abstract

Prototypical examples that best summarize and compactly represent an underlying complex data distribution, communicate meaningful insights to humans in domains where simple explanations are hard to extract. In this paper, we present algorithms with strong theoretical guarantees to mine these data sets and select prototypes, a.k.a. representatives that optimally describes them. Our work notably generalizes the recent work by Kim et al. (2016) where in addition to selecting prototypes, we also associate non-negative weights which are indicative of their importance. This extension provides a single coherent framework under which both prototypes and criticisms (i.e. outliers) can be found. Furthermore, our framework works for any symmetric positive definite kernel thus addressing one of the key open questions laid out in Kim et al. (2016). By establishing that our objective function enjoys a key property of that of weak submodularity, we present a fast ProtoDash algorithm and also derive approximation guarantees for the same. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method on diverse domains such as retail, digit recognition (MNIST) and on publicly available 40 health questionnaires obtained from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website maintained by the US Dept. of Health. We validate the results quantitatively as well as qualitatively based on expert feedback and recently published scientific studies on public health, thus showcasing the power of our technique in providing actionability (for retail), utility (for MNIST), and insight (on CDC datasets), which arguably are the hallmarks of an effective interpretable machine learning method.

Date

01 Nov 2019

Publication

ICDM 2019

Authors

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