Beyond sparsity: The role of L1-optimizer in pattern classification

Jian Yang, Lei Zhang, Yong Xu, Jing Yu Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

170 Citations (Scopus)


The newly-emerging sparse representation-based classifier (SRC) shows great potential for pattern classification but lacks theoretical justification. This paper gives an insight into SRC and seeks reasonable supports for its effectiveness. SRC uses L1-optimizer instead of L0- optimizer on account of computational convenience and efficiency. We re-examine the role of L1-optimizer and find that for pattern recognition tasks, L1-optimizer provides more classification meaningful information than L0-optimizer does. L0-optimizer can achieve sparsity only, whereas L1-optimizer can achieve closeness as well as sparsity. Sparsity determines a small number of nonzero representation coefficients, while closeness makes the nonzero representation coefficients concentrate on the training samples with the same class label as the given test sample. Thus, it is closeness that guarantees the effectiveness of the L1-optimizer based SRC. Based on the closeness prior, we further propose two kinds of class L1-optimizer classifiers (CL1C), the closeness rule based CL1C (C-CL1C) and its improved version: the Lasso rule based CL1C (L-CL1C). The proposed classifiers are evaluated on five databases and the experimental results demonstrate advantages of the proposed classifiers over SRC in classification performance and computational efficiency for large sample size problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1118
Number of pages15
JournalPattern Recognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • Classifier
  • Feature extraction
  • Pattern classification
  • Sparse representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence

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