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94
Learning when Training Data are Costly: The Effect of Class Distribution on Tree Induction
, 2002
"... For large, realworld inductive learning problems, the number of training examples often must be limited due to the costs associated with procuring, preparing, and storing the data and/or the computational costs associated with learning from the data. One question of practical importance is: if n ..."
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Cited by 173 (9 self)
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For large, realworld inductive learning problems, the number of training examples often must be limited due to the costs associated with procuring, preparing, and storing the data and/or the computational costs associated with learning from the data. One question of practical importance is: if n training examples are going to be selected, in what proportion should the classes be represented? In this article we analyze the relationship between the marginal class distribution of training data and the performance of classification trees induced from these data, when the size of the training set is fixed. We study twentysix data sets and, for each, determine the best class distribution for learning. Our results show that, for a fixed number of training examples, it is often possible to obtain improved classifier performance by training with a class distribution other than the naturally occurring class distribution. For example, we show that to build a classifier robust to different misclassification costs, a balanced class distribution generally performs quite well. We also describe and evaluate a budgetsensitive progressivesampling algorithm that selects training examples such that the resulting training set has a good (nearoptimal) class distribution for learning.
Learning relational probability trees
 In Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD) (2003
"... Classification trees are widely used in the machine learning and data mining communities for modeling propositional data. Recent work has extended this basic paradigm to probability estimation trees. Traditional tree learning algorithms assume that instances in the training data are homogenous and i ..."
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Cited by 147 (36 self)
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Classification trees are widely used in the machine learning and data mining communities for modeling propositional data. Recent work has extended this basic paradigm to probability estimation trees. Traditional tree learning algorithms assume that instances in the training data are homogenous and independently distributed. Relational probability trees (RPTs) extend standard probability estimation trees to a relational setting in which data instances are heterogeneous and interdependent. Our algorithm for learning the structure and parameters of an RPT searches over a space of relational features that use aggregation functions (e.g. AVERAGE, MODE, COUNT) to dynamically propositionalize relational data and create binary splits within the RPT. Previous work has identified a number of statistical biases due to characteristics of relational data such as autocorrelation and degree disparity. The RPT algorithm uses a novel form of randomization test to adjust for these biases. On a variety of relational learning tasks, RPTs built using randomization tests are significantly smaller than other models and achieve equivalent, or better, performance. 1.
Linkage and autocorrelation cause feature selection bias in relational learning
 In Proc. of the 19th Intl Conference on Machine Learning
, 2002
"... Two common characteristics of relational data sets — concentrated linkage and relational autocorrelation — can cause learning algorithms to be strongly biased toward certain features, irrespective of their predictive power. We identify these characteristics, define quantitative measures of their sev ..."
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Cited by 119 (36 self)
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Two common characteristics of relational data sets — concentrated linkage and relational autocorrelation — can cause learning algorithms to be strongly biased toward certain features, irrespective of their predictive power. We identify these characteristics, define quantitative measures of their severity, and explain how they produce this bias. We show how linkage and autocorrelation affect a representative algorithm for feature selection by applying the algorithm to synthetic data and to data drawn from the Internet Movie Database. 1.1 Relational Data and Statistical Dependence Figure 1 presents two simple relational data sets. In each
The Effect of Class Distribution on Classifier Learning: An Empirical Study
, 2001
"... In this article we analyze the effect of class distribution on classifier learning. We begin by describing the different ways in which class distribution affects learning and how it affects the evaluation of learned classifiers. We then present the results of two comprehensive experimental studie ..."
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Cited by 107 (2 self)
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In this article we analyze the effect of class distribution on classifier learning. We begin by describing the different ways in which class distribution affects learning and how it affects the evaluation of learned classifiers. We then present the results of two comprehensive experimental studies. The first study compares the performance of classifiers generated from unbalanced data sets with the performance of classifiers generated from balanced versions of the same data sets. This comparison allows us to isolate and quantify the effect that the training set's class distribution has on learning and contrast the performance of the classifiers on the minority and majority classes. The second study assesses what distribution is "best" for training, with respect to two performance measures: classification accuracy and the area under the ROC curve (AUC). A tacit assumption behind much research on classifier induction is that the class distribution of the training data should match the "natural" distribution of the data. This study shows that the naturally occurring class distribution often is not best for learning, and often substantially better performance can be obtained by using a different class distribution. Understanding how classifier performance is affected by class distribution can help practitioners to choose training datain realworld situations the number of training examples often must be limited due to computational costs or the costs associated with procuring and preparing the data. 1.
A Statistical Theory for Quantitative Association Rules
 Journal of Intelligent Information Systems
, 1999
"... Association rules are a key datamining tool and as such have been well researched. So far, this research has focused predominantly on databases containing categorical data only. However, many realworld databases contain quantitative attributes and current solutions for this case are so far inad ..."
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Cited by 106 (0 self)
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Association rules are a key datamining tool and as such have been well researched. So far, this research has focused predominantly on databases containing categorical data only. However, many realworld databases contain quantitative attributes and current solutions for this case are so far inadequate. We introduce a new definition of quantitative association rules based on statistical inference theory. Our definition reflects the intuition that the goal of association rules is to find extraordinary and therefore interesting phenomena in databases. We also introduce the concept of subrules which can be applied to any type of association rule. Rigorous experimental evaluation on realworld datasets is presented, demonstrating the usefulness and characteristics of rules mined according to our definition. 1 Introduction Association Rules. The goal of data mining is to extract higher level information from an abundance of raw data. Association rules are a key tool used for this...
The role of Occam’s Razor in knowledge discovery
 Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery
, 1999
"... Abstract. Many KDD systems incorporate an implicit or explicit preference for simpler models, but this use of “Occam’s razor ” has been strongly criticized by several authors (e.g., Schaffer, 1993; Webb, 1996). This controversy arises partly because Occam’s razor has been interpreted in two quite di ..."
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Cited by 104 (3 self)
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Abstract. Many KDD systems incorporate an implicit or explicit preference for simpler models, but this use of “Occam’s razor ” has been strongly criticized by several authors (e.g., Schaffer, 1993; Webb, 1996). This controversy arises partly because Occam’s razor has been interpreted in two quite different ways. The first interpretation (simplicity is a goal in itself) is essentially correct, but is at heart a preference for more comprehensible models. The second interpretation (simplicity leads to greater accuracy) is much more problematic. A critical review of the theoretical arguments for and against it shows that it is unfounded as a universal principle, and demonstrably false. A review of empirical evidence shows that it also fails as a practical heuristic. This article argues that its continued use in KDD risks causing significant opportunities to be missed, and should therefore be restricted to the comparatively few applications where it is appropriate. The article proposes and reviews the use of domain constraints as an alternative for avoiding overfitting, and examines possible methods for handling the accuracy–comprehensibility tradeoff.
Discovering significant patterns
, 2007
"... Pattern discovery techniques, such as association rule discovery, explore large search spaces of potential patterns to find those that satisfy some userspecified constraints. Due to the large number of patterns considered, they suffer from an extreme risk of type1 error, that is, of finding patter ..."
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Cited by 61 (4 self)
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Pattern discovery techniques, such as association rule discovery, explore large search spaces of potential patterns to find those that satisfy some userspecified constraints. Due to the large number of patterns considered, they suffer from an extreme risk of type1 error, that is, of finding patterns that appear due to chance alone to satisfy the constraints on the sample data. This paper proposes techniques to overcome this problem by applying wellestablished statistical practices. These allow the user to enforce a strict upper limit on the risk of experimentwise error. Empirical studies demonstrate that standard pattern discovery techniques can discover numerous spurious patterns when applied to random data and when applied to realworld data result in large numbers of patterns that are rejected when subjected to sound statistical evaluation. They also reveal that a number of pragmatic choices about how such tests are performed can greatly affect their power.
Large Datasets Lead to Overly Complex Models: An Explanation and a Solution
, 1998
"... This paper explores unexpected results that lie at the intersection of two common themes in the KDD community: large datasets and the goal of building compact models. Experiments with many different datasets and several model construction algorithms (including tree learning algorithms suchasc4. ..."
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Cited by 49 (4 self)
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This paper explores unexpected results that lie at the intersection of two common themes in the KDD community: large datasets and the goal of building compact models. Experiments with many different datasets and several model construction algorithms (including tree learning algorithms suchasc4.5 with three different pruning methods, and rule learning algorithms such as c4.5rules and ripper) show that increasing the amount of data used to build a model often results in a linear increase in model size, even when that additional complexity results in no significantincrease in model accuracy. Despite the promise of better parameter estimation held out by large datasets, as a practical matter, models built with large amounts of data are often needlessly complex and cumbersome. In the case of decision trees, the cause of this pathology is identified as a bias inherentinseveral common pruning techniques. Pruning errors made low in the tree, where there is insufficient data to make accurate parameter estimates, are propagated and magnified higher in the tree, working against the accurate parameter estimates that are made possible there by abundant data. We propose a general solution to this problem based on a statistical technique known as randomization testing, and empirically evaluate its utility.
Learning Statistical Models from Relational Data
, 2001
"... This workshop is the second in a series of workshops held in conjunction with AAAI and IJCAI. The first workshop was held in July, 2000 at AAAI. Notes from that workshop are available at ..."
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Cited by 48 (5 self)
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This workshop is the second in a series of workshops held in conjunction with AAAI and IJCAI. The first workshop was held in July, 2000 at AAAI. Notes from that workshop are available at
Choosing between two learning algorithms based on calibrated tests. Working paper
, 2003
"... Designing a hypothesis test to determine the best of two machine learning algorithms with only a small data set available is not a simple task. Many popular tests suffer from low power (5x2 cv [2]), or high Type I error (Weka’s 10x10 cross validation [11]). Furthermore, many tests show a low level o ..."
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Cited by 43 (3 self)
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Designing a hypothesis test to determine the best of two machine learning algorithms with only a small data set available is not a simple task. Many popular tests suffer from low power (5x2 cv [2]), or high Type I error (Weka’s 10x10 cross validation [11]). Furthermore, many tests show a low level of replicability, so that tests performed by different scientists with the same pair of algorithms, the same data sets and the same hypothesis test still may present different results. We show that 5x2 cv, resampling and 10 fold cv suffer from low replicability. The main complication is due to the need to use the data multiple times. As a consequence, independence assumptions for most hypothesis tests are violated. In this paper, we pose the case that reuse of the same data causes the effective degrees of freedom to be much lower than theoretically expected. We show how to calibrate the effective degrees of freedom empirically for various tests. Some tests are not calibratable, indicating another flaw in the design. However the ones that are calibratable all show very similar behavior. Moreover, the Type I error of those tests is on the mark for a wide range of circumstances, while they show a power and replicability that is a considerably higher than currently popular hypothesis tests. 1.