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Title: Decision tree simplification for classifier ensembles
Author: Ardeshir, G.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3426 7588
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2002
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Design of ensemble classifiers involves three factors: 1) a learning algorithm to produce a classifier (base classifier), 2) an ensemble method to generate diverse classifiers, and 3) a combining method to combine decisions made by base classifiers. With regard to the first factor, a good choice for constructing a classifier is a decision tree learning algorithm. However, a possible problem with this learning algorithm is its complexity which has only been addressed previously in the context of pruning methods for individual trees. Furthermore, the ensemble method may require the learning algorithm to produce a complex classifier. Considering the fact that performance of simplification methods as well as ensemble methods changes from one domain to another, our main contribution is to address a simplification method (post-pruning) in the context of ensemble methods including Bagging, Boosting and Error-Correcting Output Code (ECOC). Using a statistical test, the performance of ensembles made by Bagging, Boosting and ECOC as well as five pruning methods in the context of ensembles is compared. In addition to the implementation a supporting theory called Margin, is discussed and the relationship of Pruning to bias and variance is explained. For ECOC, the effect of parameters such as code length and size of training set on performance of Pruning methods is also studied. Decomposition methods such as ECOC are considered as a solution to reduce complexity of multi-class problems in many real problems such as face recognition. Focusing on the decomposition methods, AdaBoost.OC which is a combination of Boosting and ECOC is compared with the pseudo-loss based version of Boosting, AdaBoost.M2. In addition, the influence of pruning on the performance of ensembles is studied. Motivated by the result that both pruned and unpruned ensembles made by AdaBoost.OC have similar accuracy, pruned ensembles are compared with ensembles of single node decision trees. This results in the hypothesis that ensembles of simple classifiers may give better performance as shown for AdaBoost.OC on the identification problem in face recognition. The implication is that in some problems to achieve best accuracy of an ensemble, it is necessary to select base classifier complexity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pruning