“Incremental sparse Bayesian ordinal regression” by Chang Li and Maarten de Rijke has been published in the October 2018 issue of Neural Networks. See the journal’s site.

Ordinal Regression (OR) aims to model the ordering information between different data categories, which is a crucial topic in multi-label learning. An important class of approaches to OR models the problem as a linear combination of basis functions that map features to a high-dimensional non-linear space. However, most of the basis function-based algorithms are time consuming. We propose an incremental sparse Bayesian approach to OR tasks and introduce an algorithm to sequentially learn the relevant basis functions in the ordinal scenario. Our method, called Incremental Sparse Bayesian Ordinal Regression (ISBOR), automatically optimizes the hyper-parameters via the type-II maximum likelihood method. By exploiting fast marginal likelihood optimization, ISBOR can avoid big matrix inverses, which is the main bottleneck in applying basis function-based algorithms to OR tasks on large-scale datasets. We show that ISBOR can make accurate predictions with parsimonious basis functions while offering automatic estimates of the prediction uncertainty. Extensive experiments on synthetic and real word datasets demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of ISBOR compared to other basis function-based OR approaches.