A Swiss Army Knife for Minimax Optimal Transport

Part of Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning 1 pre-proceedings (ICML 2020)

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Authors

Sofien Dhouib, Ievgen Redko, Tanguy Kerdoncuff, Rémi Emonet, Marc Sebban

Abstract

The Optimal transport (OT) problem and its associated Wasserstein distance have recently become a topic of great interest in the machine learning community. However, the underlying optimization problem is known to have two major restrictions: (i) it largely depends on the choice of the cost function and (ii) its sample complexity scales exponentially with the dimension. In this paper, we propose a general formulation of a minimax OT problem that can tackle these restrictions by jointly optimizing the cost matrix and the transport plan, allowing us to define a robust distance between distributions. We propose to use a cutting-set method to solve this general problem and show its links and advantages compared to other existing minimax OT approaches. Additionally, we use this method to define a notion of stability allowing us to select the most robust cost matrix. Finally, we provide an experimental study highlighting the efficiency of our approach.