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On the Optimality of Classifier Chain for Multi-label Classification

Neural Information Processing Systems

To capture the interdependencies between labels in multi-label classification problems, classifier chain (CC) tries to take the multiple labels of each instance into account under a deterministic high-order Markov Chain model. Since its performance is sensitive to the choice of label order, the key issue is how to determine the optimal label order for CC. In this work, we first generalize the CC model over a random label order. Then, we present a theoretical analysis of the generalization error for the proposed generalized model. Based on our results, we propose a dynamic programming based classifier chain (CC-DP) algorithm to search the globally optimal label order for CC and a greedy classifier chain (CC-Greedy) algorithm to find a locally optimal CC. Comprehensive experiments on a number of real-world multi-label data sets from various domains demonstrate that our proposed CC-DP algorithm outperforms state-of-the-art approaches and the CC-Greedy algorithm achieves comparable prediction performance with CC-DP.


Reinforced Multi-Label Image Classification by Exploring Curriculum

AAAI Conferences

Humans and animals learn much better when the examples are not randomly presented but organized in a meaningful order which illustrates gradually more concepts, and gradually more complex ones. Inspired by this curriculum learning mechanism, we propose a reinforced multi-label image classification approach imitating human behavior to label image from easy to complex. This approach allows a reinforcement learning agent to sequentially predict labels by fully exploiting image feature and previously predicted labels. The agent discovers the optimal policies through maximizing the long-term reward which reflects prediction accuracies. Experimental results on PASCAL VOC2007 and 2012 demonstrate the necessity of reinforcement multi-label learning and the algorithm’s effectiveness in real-world multi-label image classification tasks.


Classifier Chains: A Review and Perspectives

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The family of methods collectively known as classifier chains has become a popular approach to multi-label learning problems. This approach involves linking together off-the-shelf binary classifiers in a chain structure, such that class label predictions become features for other classifiers. Such methods have proved flexible and effective and have obtained state-of-the-art empirical performance across many datasets and multi-label evaluation metrics. This performance led to further studies of how exactly it works, and how it could be improved, and in the recent decade numerous studies have explored classifier chains mechanisms on a theoretical level, and many improvements have been made to the training and inference procedures, such that this method remains among the state-of-the-art options for multi-label learning. Given this past and ongoing interest, which covers a broad range of applications and research themes, the goal of this work is to provide a review of classifier chains, a survey of the techniques and extensions provided in the literature, as well as perspectives for this approach in the domain of multi-label classification in the future. We conclude positively, with a number of recommendations for researchers and practitioners, as well as outlining a number of areas for future research.


Efficient Monte Carlo Methods for Multi-Dimensional Learning with Classifier Chains

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Multi-dimensional classification (MDC) is the supervised learning problem where an instance is associated with multiple classes, 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. In this paper we focus on the classifier chains (CC) approach for modeling dependencies, one of the most popular and highest- performing methods for multi-label classification (MLC), a particular case of MDC which involves only binary classes (i.e., labels). The original CC algorithm makes a greedy approximation, and is fast but tends to propagate errors along the chain. Here we present novel Monte Carlo schemes, both for finding a good chain sequence and performing efficient inference. Our algorithms remain tractable for high-dimensional data sets and obtain the best predictive performance across several real data sets.


Polytree-Augmented Classifier Chains for Multi-Label Classification

AAAI Conferences

Multi-label classification is a challenging and appealing supervised learning problem where a subset of labels, rather than a single label seen in traditional classification problems, is assigned to a single test instance. Classifier chains based methods are a promising strategy to tackle multi-label classification problems as they model label correlations at acceptable complexity. However, these methods are difficult to approximate the underlying dependency in the label space, and suffer from the problems of poorly ordered chain and error propagation. In this paper, we propose a novel polytree-augmented classifier chains method to remedy these problems. A polytree is used to model reasonable conditional dependence between labels over attributes, under which the directional relationship between labels within causal basins could be appropriately determined. In addition, based on the max-sum algorithm, exact inference would be performed on polytrees at reasonable cost, preventing from error propagation. The experiments performed on both artificial and benchmark multi-label data sets demonstrated that the proposed method is competitive with the state-of-the-art multi-label classification methods.