The number of possible methods of generalizing binary classification to multi-class classification increases exponentially with the number of class labels. Often, the best method of doing so will be highly problem dependent. Here we present classification software in which the partitioning of multi-class classification problems into binary classification problems is specified using a recursive control language.

An imbalanced classification problem is a problem that involves predicting a class label where the distribution of class labels in the training dataset is not equal. A challenge for beginners working with imbalanced classification problems is what a specific skewed class distribution means. For example, what is the difference and implication for a 1:10 vs. a 1:100 class ratio? Differences in the class distribution for an imbalanced classification problem will influence the choice of data preparation and modeling algorithms. Therefore it is critical that practitioners develop an intuition for the implications for different class distributions.

Some say over 60-70% time is spent in data cleaning, munging and bringing data to a suitable format such that machine learning models can be applied on that data. This post focuses on the second part, i.e., applying machine learning models, including the preprocessing steps. The pipelines discussed in this post come as a result of over a hundred machine learning competitions that I've taken part in. It must be noted that the discussion here is very general but very useful and there can also be very complicated methods which exist and are practised by professionals. Before applying the machine learning models, the data must be converted to a tabular form.

We show how binary classification methods developed to work on i.i.d. Specifically, the problems of time-series clustering, homogeneity testing and the three-sample problem are addressed. The algorithms that we construct for solving these problems are based on a new metric between time-series distributions, which can be evaluated using binary classification methods. Universal consistency of the proposed algorithms is proven under most general assumptions. The theoretical results are illustrated with experiments on synthetic and real-world data.

Ishida, Takashi, Niu, Gang, Sugiyama, Masashi

Can we learn a binary classifier from only positive data, without any negative data or unlabeled data? We show that if one can equip positive data with confidence (positive-confidence), one can successfully learn a binary classifier, which we name positive-confidence (Pconf) classification. Our work is related to one-class classification which is aimed at "describing" the positive class by clustering-related methods, but one-class classification does not have the ability to tune hyper-parameters and their aim is not on "discriminating" positive and negative classes. For the Pconf classification problem, we provide a simple empirical risk minimization framework that is model-independent and optimization-independent. We theoretically establish the consistency and an estimation error bound, and demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed method for training deep neural networks through experiments.