- Keywords: Multilayer Perceptron, symmetric positive definite, heteroscedastic regression, covariance estimation
- Abstract: Models that output a vector of responses given some inputs, in the form of a conditional mean vector, are at the core of machine learning. This includes neural networks such as the multilayer perceptron (MLP). However, models that output a symmetric positive definite (SPD) matrix of responses given inputs, in the form of a conditional covariance function, are far less studied, especially within the context of neural networks. Here, we introduce a new variant of the MLP, referred to as the matrix MLP, that is specialized at learning SPD matrices. Our construction not only respects the SPD constraint, but also makes explicit use of it. This translates into a model which effectively performs the task of SPD matrix learning even in scenarios where data are scarce. We present an application of the model in heteroscedastic multivariate regression, including convincing performance on six real-world datasets.
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