Computational and theoretical analysis of null space and orthogonal linear discriminant analysis

Jieping Ye, Tao Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Dimensionality reduction is an important pre-processing step in many applications. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) is a classical statistical approach for supervised dimensionality reduction. It aims to maximize the ratio of the between-class distance to the within-class distance, thus maximizing the class discrimination. It has been used widely in many applications. However, the classical LDA formulation requires the nonsingularity of the scatter matrices involved. For undersampled problems, where the data dimensionality is much larger than the sample size, all scatter matrices are singular and classical LDA fails. Many extensions, including null space LDA (NLDA) and orthogonal LDA (OLDA), have been proposed in the past to overcome this problem. NLDA aims to maximize the between-class distance in the null space of the within-class scatter matrix, while OLDA computes a set of orthogonal discriminant vectors via the simultaneous diagonalization of the scatter matrices. They have been applied successfully in various applications. In this paper, we present a computational and theoretical analysis of NLDA and OLDA. Our main result shows that under a mild condition which holds in many applications involving high-dimensional data, NLDA is equivalent to OLDA. We have performed extensive experiments on various types of data and results are consistent with our theoretical analysis. We further apply the regularization to OLDA. The algorithm is called regularized OLDA (or ROLDA for short). An efficient algorithm is presented to estimate the regularization value in ROLDA. A comparative study on classification shows that ROLDA is very competitive with OLDA. This confirms the effectiveness of the regularization in ROLDA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1204
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Machine Learning Research
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Dimensionality reduction
  • Linear discriminant analysis
  • Null space
  • Orthogonal matrix
  • Regularization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Statistics and Probability


Dive into the research topics of 'Computational and theoretical analysis of null space and orthogonal linear discriminant analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this