Robust Distance Metric Learning with Auxiliary Knowledge

Most of the existing metric learning methods are accomplished by exploiting pairwise constraints over the labeled data and frequently suffer from the insufficiency of training examples. To learn a robust distance metric from few labeled examples, prior knowledge from unlabeled examples as well as the metrics previously derived from auxiliary data sets can be useful. In this paper, we propose to leverage such auxiliary knowledge to assist distance metric learning, which is formulated following the regularized loss minimization principle. Two algorithms are derived on the basis of manifold regularization and log-determinant divergence regularization technique, respectively, which can simultaneously exploit label information (i.e., the pairwise constraints over labeled data), unlabeled examples, and the metrics derived from auxiliary data sets. The proposed methods directly manipulate the auxiliary metrics and require no raw examples from the auxiliary data sets, which make them efficient and flexible. We conduct extensive evaluations to compare our approaches with a number of competing approaches on face recognition task. The experimental results show that our approaches can derive reliable distance metrics from limited training examples and thus are superior in terms of accuracy and labeling efforts.

Zheng-Jun Zha, Tao Mei, Meng Wang, Zengfu Wang, Xian-Sheng Hua