Statistical topological data analysis-A kernel perspective

Roland Kwitt, Stefan Huber, Marc Niethammer, Weili Lin, Ulrich Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

We consider the problem of statistical computations with persistence diagrams, a summary representation of topological features in data. These diagrams encode persistent homology, a widely used invariant in topological data analysis. While several avenues towards a statistical treatment of the diagrams have been explored recently, we follow an alternative route that is motivated by the success of methods based on the embedding of probability measures into reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces. In fact, a positive definite kernel on persistence diagrams has recently been proposed, connecting persistent homology to popular kernel-based learning techniques such as support vector machines. However, important properties of that kernel enabling a principled use in the context of probability measure embeddings remain to be explored. Our contribution is to close this gap by proving universality of a variant of the original kernel, and to demonstrate its effective use in twosample hypothesis testing on synthetic as well as real-world data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3070-3078
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Volume2015-January
StatePublished - 2015
Event29th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2015 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 7 Dec 201512 Dec 2015

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