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Wrappers for feature subset selection
 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
, 1997
"... In the feature subset selection problem, a learning algorithm is faced with the problem of selecting a relevant subset of features upon which to focus its attention, while ignoring the rest. To achieve the best possible performance with a particular learning algorithm on a particular training set, a ..."
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Cited by 1017 (3 self)
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In the feature subset selection problem, a learning algorithm is faced with the problem of selecting a relevant subset of features upon which to focus its attention, while ignoring the rest. To achieve the best possible performance with a particular learning algorithm on a particular training set, a feature subset selection method should consider how the algorithm and the training set interact. We explore the relation between optimal feature subset selection and relevance. Our wrapper method searches for an optimal feature subset tailored to a particular algorithm and a domain. We study the strengths and weaknesses of the wrapper approach and show a series of improved designs. We compare the wrapper approach to induction without feature subset selection and to Relief, a filter approach to feature subset selection. Significant improvement in accuracy is achieved for some datasets for the two families of induction algorithms used: decision trees and
On the optimality of the simple Bayesian classifier under zeroone loss
 MACHINE LEARNING
, 1997
"... The simple Bayesian classifier is known to be optimal when attributes are independent given the class, but the question of whether other sufficient conditions for its optimality exist has so far not been explored. Empirical results showing that it performs surprisingly well in many domains containin ..."
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Cited by 600 (25 self)
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The simple Bayesian classifier is known to be optimal when attributes are independent given the class, but the question of whether other sufficient conditions for its optimality exist has so far not been explored. Empirical results showing that it performs surprisingly well in many domains containing clear attribute dependences suggest that the answer to this question may be positive. This article shows that, although the Bayesian classifier’s probability estimates are only optimal under quadratic loss if the independence assumption holds, the classifier itself can be optimal under zeroone loss (misclassification rate) even when this assumption is violated by a wide margin. The region of quadraticloss optimality of the Bayesian classifier is in fact a secondorder infinitesimal fraction of the region of zeroone optimality. This implies that the Bayesian classifier has a much greater range of applicability than previously thought. For example, in this article it is shown to be optimal for learning conjunctions and disjunctions, even though they violate the independence assumption. Further, studies in artificial domains show that it will often outperform more powerful classifiers for common training set sizes and numbers of attributes, even if its bias is a priori much less appropriate to the domain. This article’s results also imply that detecting attribute dependence is not necessarily the best way to extend the Bayesian classifier, and this is also verified empirically.
An Empirical Comparison of Voting Classification Algorithms: Bagging, Boosting, and Variants
 MACHINE LEARNING
, 1999
"... Methods for voting classification algorithms, such as Bagging and AdaBoost, have been shown to be very successful in improving the accuracy of certain classifiers for artificial and realworld datasets. We review these algorithms and describe a large empirical study comparing several variants in co ..."
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Cited by 537 (2 self)
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Methods for voting classification algorithms, such as Bagging and AdaBoost, have been shown to be very successful in improving the accuracy of certain classifiers for artificial and realworld datasets. We review these algorithms and describe a large empirical study comparing several variants in conjunction with a decision tree inducer (three variants) and a NaiveBayes inducer.
The purpose of the study is to improve our understanding of why and
when these algorithms, which use perturbation, reweighting, and
combination techniques, affect classification error. We provide a
bias and variance decomposition of the error to show how different
methods and variants influence these two terms. This allowed us to
determine that Bagging reduced variance of unstable methods, while
boosting methods (AdaBoost and Arcx4) reduced both the bias and
variance of unstable methods but increased the variance for NaiveBayes,
which was very stable. We observed that Arcx4 behaves differently
than AdaBoost if reweighting is used instead of resampling,
indicating a fundamental difference. Voting variants, some of which
are introduced in this paper, include: pruning versus no pruning,
use of probabilistic estimates, weight perturbations (Wagging), and
backfitting of data. We found that Bagging improves when
probabilistic estimates in conjunction with nopruning are used, as
well as when the data was backfit. We measure tree sizes and show
an interesting positive correlation between the increase in the
average tree size in AdaBoost trials and its success in reducing the
error. We compare the meansquared error of voting methods to
nonvoting methods and show that the voting methods lead to large
and significant reductions in the meansquared errors. Practical
problems that arise in implementing boosting algorithms are
explored, including numerical instabilities and underflows. We use
scatterplots that graphically show how AdaBoost reweights instances,
emphasizing not only "hard" areas but also outliers and noise.
Approximate Statistical Tests for Comparing Supervised Classification Learning Algorithms
, 1998
"... This article reviews five approximate statistical tests for determining whether one learning algorithm outperforms another on a particular learning task. These tests are compared experimentally to determine their probability of incorrectly detecting a difference when no difference exists (type I err ..."
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Cited by 528 (8 self)
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This article reviews five approximate statistical tests for determining whether one learning algorithm outperforms another on a particular learning task. These tests are compared experimentally to determine their probability of incorrectly detecting a difference when no difference exists (type I error). Two widely used statistical tests are shown to have high probability of type I error in certain situations and should never be used: a test for the difference of two proportions and a paireddifferences t test based on taking several random traintest splits. A third test, a paireddifferences t test based on 10fold crossvalidation, exhibits somewhat elevated probability of type I error. A fourth test, McNemar’s test, is shown to have low type I error. The fifth test is a new test, 5 × 2 cv, based on five iterations of twofold crossvalidation. Experiments show that this test also has acceptable type I error. The article also measures the power (ability to detect algorithm differences when they do exist) of these tests. The crossvalidated t test is the most powerful. The 5×2 cv test is shown to be slightly more powerful than McNemar’s test. The choice of the best test is determined by the computational cost of running the learning algorithm. For algorithms that can be executed only once, McNemar’s test is the only test with acceptable type I error. For algorithms that can be executed 10 times, the 5×2 cv test is recommended, because it is slightly more powerful and because it directly measures variation due to the choice of training set.
Toward optimal feature selection
 In 13th International Conference on Machine Learning
, 1995
"... In this paper, we examine a method for feature subset selection based on Information Theory. Initially, a framework for de ning the theoretically optimal, but computationally intractable, method for feature subset selection is presented. We show that our goal should be to eliminate a feature if it g ..."
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Cited by 361 (10 self)
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In this paper, we examine a method for feature subset selection based on Information Theory. Initially, a framework for de ning the theoretically optimal, but computationally intractable, method for feature subset selection is presented. We show that our goal should be to eliminate a feature if it gives us little or no additional information beyond that subsumed by the remaining features. In particular, this will be the case for both irrelevant and redundant features. We then give an e cient algorithm for feature selection which computes an approximation to the optimal feature selection criterion. The conditions under which the approximate algorithm is successful are examined. Empirical results are given on a number of data sets, showing that the algorithm e ectively handles datasets with a very large number of features.
Beyond Independence: Conditions for the Optimality of the Simple Bayesian Classifier
"... The simple Bayesian classifier (SBC) is commonly thought to assume that attributes are independent given the class, but this is apparently contradicted by the surprisingly good performance it exhibits in many domains that contain clear attribute dependences. No explanation for this has been proposed ..."
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Cited by 295 (8 self)
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The simple Bayesian classifier (SBC) is commonly thought to assume that attributes are independent given the class, but this is apparently contradicted by the surprisingly good performance it exhibits in many domains that contain clear attribute dependences. No explanation for this has been proposed so far. In this paper we show that the SBC does not in fact assume attribute independence, and can be optimal even when this assumption is violated by a wide margin. The key to this finding lies in the distinction between classification and probability estimation: correct classification can be achieved even when the probability estimates used contain large errors. We show that the previouslyassumed region of optimality of the SBC is a secondorder infinitesimal fraction of the actual one. This is followed by the derivation of several necessary and several sufficient conditions for the optimality of the SBC. For example, the SBC is optimal for learning arbitrary conjunctions and disjunctions, even though they violate the independence assumption. The paper also reports empirical evidence of the SBC's competitive performance in domains containing substantial degrees of attribute dependence.
Scaling Up the Accuracy of NaiveBayes Classifiers: a DecisionTree Hybrid
 PROCEEDINGS OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON KNOWLEDGE DISCOVERY AND DATA MINING
, 1996
"... NaiveBayes induction algorithms were previously shown to be surprisingly accurate on many classification tasks even when the conditional independence assumption on which they are based is violated. However, most studies were done on small databases. We show that in some larger databases, the accura ..."
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Cited by 175 (4 self)
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NaiveBayes induction algorithms were previously shown to be surprisingly accurate on many classification tasks even when the conditional independence assumption on which they are based is violated. However, most studies were done on small databases. We show that in some larger databases, the accuracy of NaiveBayes does not scale up as well as decision trees. We then propose a new algorithm, NBTree, which induces a hybrid of decisiontree classifiers and NaiveBayes classifiers: the decisiontree nodes contain univariate splits as regular decisiontrees, but the leaves contain NaiveBayesian classifiers. The approach retains the interpretability of NaiveBayes and decision trees, while resulting in classifiers that frequently outperform both constituents, especially in the larger databases tested.
Automatic Construction of Decision Trees from Data: A MultiDisciplinary Survey
 Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery
, 1997
"... Decision trees have proved to be valuable tools for the description, classification and generalization of data. Work on constructing decision trees from data exists in multiple disciplines such as statistics, pattern recognition, decision theory, signal processing, machine learning and artificial ne ..."
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Cited by 146 (1 self)
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Decision trees have proved to be valuable tools for the description, classification and generalization of data. Work on constructing decision trees from data exists in multiple disciplines such as statistics, pattern recognition, decision theory, signal processing, machine learning and artificial neural networks. Researchers in these disciplines, sometimes working on quite different problems, identified similar issues and heuristics for decision tree construction. This paper surveys existing work on decision tree construction, attempting to identify the important issues involved, directions the work has taken and the current state of the art. Keywords: classification, treestructured classifiers, data compaction 1. Introduction Advances in data collection methods, storage and processing technology are providing a unique challenge and opportunity for automated data exploration techniques. Enormous amounts of data are being collected daily from major scientific projects e.g., Human Genome...
Correlationbased feature selection for discrete and numeric class machine learning
, 2000
"... Algorithms for feature selection fall into two broad categories: wrappers use the learning algorithm itself to evaluate the usefulness of features, while lters evaluate features according to heuristics based on general characteristics of the data. For application to large databases, lters have prove ..."
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Cited by 145 (1 self)
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Algorithms for feature selection fall into two broad categories: wrappers use the learning algorithm itself to evaluate the usefulness of features, while lters evaluate features according to heuristics based on general characteristics of the data. For application to large databases, lters have proven to be more practical than wrappers because they are much faster. However, most existing lter algorithms only work with discrete classi cation problems. This paper describes a fast, correlationbased lter algorithm that can be applied to continuous and discrete problems. Experiments using the new method as a preprocessing step for naive Bayes, instancebased learning, decision trees, locally weighted regression, and model trees show it to be an e ective feature selectorit reduces the data in dimensionality by more than sixty percent in most cases without negatively a ecting accuracy. Also, decision and model trees built from the preprocessed data are often signi cantly smaller. 1 1
Correlationbased feature selection for machine learning
, 1998
"... A central problem in machine learning is identifying a representative set of features from which to construct a classification model for a particular task. This thesis addresses the problem of feature selection for machine learning through a correlation based approach. The central hypothesis is that ..."
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Cited by 137 (3 self)
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A central problem in machine learning is identifying a representative set of features from which to construct a classification model for a particular task. This thesis addresses the problem of feature selection for machine learning through a correlation based approach. The central hypothesis is that good feature sets contain features that are highly correlated with the class, yet uncorrelated with each other. A feature evaluation formula, based on ideas from test theory, provides an operational definition of this hypothesis. CFS (Correlation based Feature Selection) is an algorithm that couples this evaluation formula with an appropriate correlation measure and a heuristic search strategy. CFS was evaluated by experiments on artificial and natural datasets. Three machine learning algorithms were used: C4.5 (a decision tree learner), IB1 (an instance based learner), and naive Bayes. Experiments on artificial datasets showed that CFS quickly identifies and screens irrelevant, redundant, and noisy features, and identifies relevant features as long as their relevance does not strongly depend on other features. On natural domains, CFS typically eliminated well over half the features. In most cases, classification accuracy using the reduced feature set equaled or bettered accuracy using the complete feature set.