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Comparative Studies of Support Vector Regression between Reproducing Kernel and Gaussian Kernel

Authors: Wei Zhang, Su-Yan Tang, Yi-Fan Zhu, Wei-Ping Wang


Support vector regression (SVR) has been regarded as a state-of-the-art method for approximation and regression. The importance of kernel function, which is so-called admissible support vector kernel (SV kernel) in SVR, has motivated many studies on its composition. The Gaussian kernel (RBF) is regarded as a “best" choice of SV kernel used by non-expert in SVR, whereas there is no evidence, except for its superior performance on some practical applications, to prove the statement. Its well-known that reproducing kernel (R.K) is also a SV kernel which possesses many important properties, e.g. positive definiteness, reproducing property and composing complex R.K by simpler ones. However, there are a limited number of R.Ks with explicit forms and consequently few quantitative comparison studies in practice. In this paper, two R.Ks, i.e. SV kernels, composed by the sum and product of a translation invariant kernel in a Sobolev space are proposed. An exploratory study on the performance of SVR based general R.K is presented through a systematic comparison to that of RBF using multiple criteria and synthetic problems. The results show that the R.K is an equivalent or even better SV kernel than RBF for the problems with more input variables (more than 5, especially more than 10) and higher nonlinearity.

Keywords: admissible support vector kernel, reproducing kernel, reproducing kernel Hilbert space, support vector regression.

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