Journal of Intelligent Information Systems

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 155–186 | Cite as

Operators for transforming kernels into quasi-local kernels that improve SVM accuracy

  • Nicola SegataEmail author
  • Enrico Blanzieri


Motivated by the crucial role that locality plays in various learning approaches, we present, in the framework of kernel machines for classification, a novel family of operators on kernels able to integrate local information into any kernel obtaining quasi-local kernels. The quasi-local kernels maintain the possibly global properties of the input kernel and they increase the kernel value as the points get closer in the feature space of the input kernel, mixing the effect of the input kernel with a kernel which is local in the feature space of the input one. If applied on a local kernel the operators introduce an additional level of locality equivalent to use a local kernel with non-stationary kernel width. The operators accept two parameters that regulate the width of the exponential influence of points in the locality-dependent component and the balancing between the feature-space local component and the input kernel. We address the choice of these parameters with a data-dependent strategy. Experiments carried out with SVM applying the operators on traditional kernel functions on a total of 43 datasets with different characteristics and application domains, achieve very good results supported by statistical significance.


SVM Locality Kernel methods Operators on kernels Local SVM 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Scienza dell’InformazioneUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly

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