Nearly optimal classi-cation for semimetrics Academic Article uri icon


  • We initiate the rigorous study of classification in semimetric spaces, which are point sets with a distance function that is non-negative and symmetric, but need not satisfy the triangle inequality. For metric spaces, the doubling dimension essentially characterizes both the runtime and sample complexity of classification algorithms --- yet we show that this is not the case for semimetrics. Instead, we define the {\em density dimension} and discover that it plays a central role in the statistical and algorithmic feasibility of learning in semimetric spaces. We present nearly optimal sample compression algorithms and use these to obtain generalization guarantees, including fast rates. The latter hold for general sample compression schemes and may be of independent interest.

publication date

  • February 22, 2015