Title page for ETD etd-08292008-162648


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Van der Walt, Christiaan Maarten
Email cmvdwalt@gmail.com
URN etd-08292008-162648
Document Title Data measures that characterise classification problems
Degree MEng
Department Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof E Barnard Supervisor
Keywords
  • classifier selection
  • data measures
  • data characteristics
  • artificial data
  • data analysis
  • classification
  • supervised learning
  • pattern recognition
  • meta-classification
  • classification prediction
Date 2008-04-09
Availability unrestricted
Abstract

We have a wide-range of classifiers today that are employed in numerous applications, from credit scoring to speech-processing, with great technical and commercial success. No classifier, however, exists that will outperform all other classifiers on all classification tasks, and the process of classifier selection is still mainly one of trial and error.

The optimal classifier for a classification task is determined by the characteristics of the data set employed; understanding the relationship between data characteristics and the performance of classifiers is therefore crucial to the process of classifier selection. Empirical and theoretical approaches have been employed in the literature to define this relationship. None of these approaches have, however, been very successful in accurately predicting or explaining classifier performance on real-world data.

We use theoretical properties of classifiers to identify data characteristics that influence classifier performance; these data properties guide us in the development of measures that describe the relationship between data characteristics and classifier performance. We employ these data measures on real-world and artificial data to construct a meta-classification system.

We use theoretical properties of classifiers to identify data characteristics that influence classifier performance; these data properties guide us in the development of measures that describe the relationship between data characteristics and classifier performance. We employ these data measures on real-world and artificial data to construct a meta-classification system. The purpose of this meta-classifier is two-fold: (1) to predict the classification performance of real-world classification tasks, and (2) to explain these predictions in order to gain insight into the properties of real-world data.

We show that these data measures can be employed successfully to predict the classification performance of real-world data sets; these predictions are accurate in some instances but there is still unpredictable behaviour in other instances.

We illustrate that these data measures can give valuable insight into the properties and data structures of real-world data; these insights are extremely valuable for high-dimensional classification problems.

University of Pretoria 2008

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