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44
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 ..."
Abstract

Cited by 539 (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.
An Efficient Boosting Algorithm for Combining Preferences
, 1999
"... The problem of combining preferences arises in several applications, such as combining the results of different search engines. This work describes an efficient algorithm for combining multiple preferences. We first give a formal framework for the problem. We then describe and analyze a new boosting ..."
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Cited by 515 (18 self)
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The problem of combining preferences arises in several applications, such as combining the results of different search engines. This work describes an efficient algorithm for combining multiple preferences. We first give a formal framework for the problem. We then describe and analyze a new boosting algorithm for combining preferences called RankBoost. We also describe an efficient implementation of the algorithm for certain natural cases. We discuss two experiments we carried out to assess the performance of RankBoost. In the first experiment, we used the algorithm to combine different WWW search strategies, each of which is a query expansion for a given domain. For this task, we compare the performance of RankBoost to the individual search strategies. The second experiment is a collaborativefiltering task for making movie recommendations. Here, we present results comparing RankBoost to nearestneighbor and regression algorithms.
Reducing Multiclass to Binary: A Unifying Approach for Margin Classifiers
 Journal of Machine Learning Research
, 2000
"... We present a unifying framework for studying the solution of multiclass categorization problems by reducing them to multiple binary problems that are then solved using a marginbased binary learning algorithm. The proposed framework unifies some of the most popular approaches in which each class ..."
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Cited by 419 (20 self)
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We present a unifying framework for studying the solution of multiclass categorization problems by reducing them to multiple binary problems that are then solved using a marginbased binary learning algorithm. The proposed framework unifies some of the most popular approaches in which each class is compared against all others, or in which all pairs of classes are compared to each other, or in which output codes with errorcorrecting properties are used. We propose a general method for combining the classifiers generated on the binary problems, and we prove a general empirical multiclass loss bound given the empirical loss of the individual binary learning algorithms. The scheme and the corresponding bounds apply to many popular classification learning algorithms including supportvector machines, AdaBoost, regression, logistic regression and decisiontree algorithms. We also give a multiclass generalization error analysis for general output codes with AdaBoost as the binary learner. Experimental results with SVM and AdaBoost show that our scheme provides a viable alternative to the most commonly used multiclass algorithms.
An introduction to kernelbased learning algorithms
 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON NEURAL NETWORKS
, 2001
"... This paper provides an introduction to support vector machines (SVMs), kernel Fisher discriminant analysis, and ..."
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Cited by 373 (48 self)
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This paper provides an introduction to support vector machines (SVMs), kernel Fisher discriminant analysis, and
Soft Margins for AdaBoost
, 1998
"... Recently ensemble methods like AdaBoost were successfully applied to character recognition tasks, seemingly defying the problems of overfitting. This paper shows that although AdaBoost rarely overfits in the low noise regime it clearly does so for higher noise levels. Central for understanding this ..."
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Cited by 256 (22 self)
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Recently ensemble methods like AdaBoost were successfully applied to character recognition tasks, seemingly defying the problems of overfitting. This paper shows that although AdaBoost rarely overfits in the low noise regime it clearly does so for higher noise levels. Central for understanding this fact is the margin distribution and we find that AdaBoost achieves  doing gradient descent in an error function with respect to the margin  asymptotically a hard margin distribution, i.e. the algorithm concentrates its resources on a few hardtolearn patterns (here an interesting overlap emerge to Support Vectors). This is clearly a suboptimal strategy in the noisy case, and regularization, i.e. a mistrust in the data, must be introduced in the algorithm to alleviate the distortions that a difficult pattern (e.g. outliers) can cause to the margin distribution. We propose several regularization methods and generalizations of the original AdaBoost algorithm to achieve a soft margin  a ...
Logistic Regression, AdaBoost and Bregman Distances
, 2000
"... We give a unified account of boosting and logistic regression in which each learning problem is cast in terms of optimization of Bregman distances. The striking similarity of the two problems in this framework allows us to design and analyze algorithms for both simultaneously, and to easily adapt al ..."
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Cited by 203 (43 self)
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We give a unified account of boosting and logistic regression in which each learning problem is cast in terms of optimization of Bregman distances. The striking similarity of the two problems in this framework allows us to design and analyze algorithms for both simultaneously, and to easily adapt algorithms designed for one problem to the other. For both problems, we give new algorithms and explain their potential advantages over existing methods. These algorithms can be divided into two types based on whether the parameters are iteratively updated sequentially (one at a time) or in parallel (all at once). We also describe a parameterized family of algorithms which interpolates smoothly between these two extremes. For all of the algorithms, we give convergence proofs using a general formalization of the auxiliaryfunction proof technique. As one of our sequentialupdate algorithms is equivalent to AdaBoost, this provides the first general proof of convergence for AdaBoost. We show that all of our algorithms generalize easily to the multiclass case, and we contrast the new algorithms with iterative scaling. We conclude with a few experimental results with synthetic data that highlight the behavior of the old and newly proposed algorithms in different settings.
Boosting in the limit: Maximizing the margin of learned ensembles
 In Proceedings of the Fifteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence
, 1998
"... The "minimum margin" of an ensemble classifier on a given training set is, roughly speaking, the smallest vote it gives to any correct training label. Recent work has shown that the Adaboost algorithm is particularly effective at producing ensembles with large minimum margins, and theory suggests th ..."
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Cited by 97 (0 self)
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The "minimum margin" of an ensemble classifier on a given training set is, roughly speaking, the smallest vote it gives to any correct training label. Recent work has shown that the Adaboost algorithm is particularly effective at producing ensembles with large minimum margins, and theory suggests that this may account for its success at reducing generalization error. We note, however, that the problem of finding good margins is closely related to linear programming, and we use this connection to derive and test new "LPboosting" algorithms that achieve better minimum margins than Adaboost. However, these algorithms do not always yield better generalization performance. In fact, more often the opposite is true. We report on a series of controlled experiments which show that no simple version of the minimummargin story can be complete. We conclude that the crucial question as to why boosting works so well in practice, and how to further improve upon it, remains mostly open. Some of our ...
MultiBoosting: A Technique for Combining Boosting and Wagging
 MACHINE LEARNING
, 2000
"... MultiBoosting is an extension to the highly successful AdaBoost technique for forming decision committees. MultiBoosting can be viewed as combining AdaBoost with wagging. It is able to harness both AdaBoost's high bias and variance reduction with wagging's superior variance reduction. Using C4.5 as ..."
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Cited by 91 (21 self)
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MultiBoosting is an extension to the highly successful AdaBoost technique for forming decision committees. MultiBoosting can be viewed as combining AdaBoost with wagging. It is able to harness both AdaBoost's high bias and variance reduction with wagging's superior variance reduction. Using C4.5 as the base learning algorithm, Multiboosting is demonstrated to produce decision committees with lower error than either AdaBoost or wagging significantly more often than the reverse over a large representative crosssection of UCI data sets. It offers the further advantage over AdaBoost of suiting parallel execution.