Multiple Task Learning Using Iteratively Reweighted Least Square / 1607
Jian Pu, Yu-Gang Jiang, Jun Wang, Xiangyang Xue

Multiple task learning (MTL) is becoming popular due to its theoretical advances and empirical successes. The key idea of MTL is to explore the hidden relationships among multiple tasks to enhance learning performance. Recently, many MTL algorithms have been developed and applied to various problems such as feature selection and kernel learning. However, most existing methods highly relied on certain assumptions of the task relationships. For instance, several works assumed that there is a major task group and several outlier tasks, and used a decomposition approach to identify the group structure and outlier tasks simultaneously. In this paper, we adopt a more general formulation for MTL without making specific structure assumptions. Instead of performing model decomposition, we directly impose an elastic-net regularization with a mixture of the structure and outlier penalties and formulate the objective as an unconstrained convex problem. To derive the optimal solution efficiently, we propose to use an Iteratively Reweighted Least Square (IRLS) method with a preconditioned conjugate gradient, which is computationally affordable for high dimensional data. Extensive experiments are conducted over both synthetic and real data, and comparisons with several state-of-the-art algorithms clearly show the superior performance of the proposed method.