Conditional Gradients for the Approximately Vanishing Ideal

Elias Wirth · Sebastian Pokutta



The vanishing ideal of a set of points X is the set of polynomials that evaluate to 0 over all points x in X and admits an efficient representation by a finite set of polynomials called generators. To accommodate the noise in the data set, we introduce the Conditional Gradients Approximately Vanishing Ideal algorithm (CGAVI) for the construction of the set of generators of the approximately vanishing ideal. The constructed set of generators captures polynomial structures in data and gives rise to a feature map that can, for example, be used in combination with a linear classifier for supervised learning. In CGAVI, we construct the set of generators by solving specific instances of (constrained) convex optimization problems with the Pairwise Frank-Wolfe algorithm (PFW). Among other things, the constructed generators inherit the LASSO generalization bound and not only vanish on the training but also on out-sample data. Moreover, CGAVI admits a compact representation of the approximately vanishing ideal by constructing few generators with sparse coefficient vectors.

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