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**Maximum Margin Multiclass Nearest Neighbors**

**Authors:** *Aryeh Kontorovich* and *Roi Weiss*

**Conference:** Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML-14)

**Year:** 2014

**Pages:** 892-900

**Abstract:** We develop a general framework for margin-based multicategory classification in metric spaces. The basic work-horse is a margin-regularized version of the nearest-neighbor classifier. We prove generalization bounds that match the state of the art in sample size $n$ and significantly improve the dependence on the number of classes $k$. Our point of departure is a nearly Bayes-optimal finite-sample risk bound independent of $k$. Although $k$-free, this bound is unregularized and non-adaptive, which motivates our main result: Rademacher and scale-sensitive margin bounds with a logarithmic dependence on $k$. As the best previous risk estimates in this setting were of order $\sqrt k$, our bound is exponentially sharper. From the algorithmic standpoint, in doubling metric spaces our classifier may be trained on $n$ examples in $O(n^2\log n)$ time and evaluated on new points in $O(\log n)$ time.

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