Multi-dimensional classification (also known variously as multi-target, multi-objective, and multi-output classification) is the supervised learning problem where an instance is associated to qualitative discrete variables (a.k.a. labels), rather than with a single class, as in traditional classification problems. Since these classes are often strongly correlated, modeling the dependencies between them allows MDC methods to improve their performance -- at the expense of an increased computational cost. A popular method for multi-label classification is the classifier chains (CC), in which the predictions of individual classifiers are cascaded along a chain, thus taking into account inter-label dependencies. Different variant of CC methods have been introduced, and many of them perform very competitively across a wide range of benchmark datasets. However, scalability limitations become apparent on larger datasets when modeling a fully-cascaded chain. In this work, we present an alternative model structure among the labels, such that the Bayesian optimal inference is then computationally feasible. The inference is efficiently performed using a Viterbi-type algorithm. As an additional contribution to the literature we analyze the relative advantages and interaction of three aspects of classifier chain design with regard to predictive performance versus efficiency: finding a good chain structure vs.a random structure, carrying out complete inference vs. approximate or greedy inference, and a linear vs. non-linear base classifier. We show that our Viterbi CC can perform best on a range of real-world datasets.
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[v1] 2015-06-15 09:45:39
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