Date of this Version
Sam Roweis, Lawrence K. Saul, and Geoffrey E. Hinton, "Global Coordination of Local Linear Models", . December 2001.
High dimensional data that lies on or near a low dimensional manifold can be described by a collection of local linear models. Such a description, however, does not provide a global parameterization of the manifold—arguably an important goal of unsupervised learning. In this paper, we show how to learn a collection of local linear models that solves this more difficult problem. Our local linear models are represented by a mixture of factor analyzers, and the “global coordination” of these models is achieved by adding a regularizing term to the standard maximum likelihood objective function. The regularizer breaks a degeneracy in the mixture model’s parameter space, favoring models whose internal coordinate systems are aligned in a consistent way. As a result, the internal coordinates change smoothly and continuously as one traverses a connected path on the manifold—even when the path crosses the domains of many different local models. The regularizer takes the form of a Kullback-Leibler divergence and illustrates an unexpected application of variational methods: not to perform approximate inference in intractable probabilistic models, but to learn more useful internal representations in tractable ones.
Date Posted: 11 September 2005