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Boosting the Area under the ROC Curve

Neural Information Processing Systems

We show that any weak ranker that can achieve an area under the ROC curve slightly better than 1/2 (which can be achieved by random guessing) can be efficiently boosted to achieve an area under the ROC curve arbitrarily close to 1. We further show that this boosting can be performed even in the presence of independent misclassification noise, given access to a noise-tolerant weak ranker.


Boosting the Area under the ROC Curve

Neural Information Processing Systems

We show that any weak ranker that can achieve an area under the ROC curve slightly better than 1/2 (which can be achieved by random guessing) can be efficiently boosted to achieve an area under the ROC curve arbitrarily close to 1. We further show that this boosting can be performed even in the presence of independent misclassification noise, given access to a noise-tolerant weak ranker.


Boosting the Area under the ROC Curve

Neural Information Processing Systems

We show that any weak ranker that can achieve an area under the ROC curve slightly better than 1/2 (which can be achieved by random guessing) can be efficiently boostedto achieve an area under the ROC curve arbitrarily close to 1. We further show that this boosting can be performed even in the presence of independent misclassificationnoise, given access to a noise-tolerant weak ranker.


Adaptive Martingale Boosting

Neural Information Processing Systems

In recent work Long and Servedio LS05short presented a martingale boosting'' algorithm that works by constructing a branching program over weak classifiers and has a simple analysis based on elementary properties of random walks. LS05short showed that this martingale booster can tolerate random classification noise when it is run with a noise-tolerant weak learner; however, a drawback of the algorithm is that it is not adaptive, i.e. it cannot effectively take advantage of variation in the quality of the weak classifiers it receives. In this paper we present a variant of the original martingale boosting algorithm and prove that it is adaptive. This adaptiveness is achieved by modifying the original algorithm so that the random walks that arise in its analysis have different step size depending on the quality of the weak learner at each stage. The new algorithm inherits the desirable properties of the original LS05short algorithm, such as random classification noise tolerance, and has several other advantages besides adaptiveness: it requires polynomially fewer calls to the weak learner than the original algorithm, and it can be used with confidence-rated weak hypotheses that output real values rather than Boolean predictions.


FilterBoost: Regression and Classification on Large Datasets

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study boosting in the filtering setting, where the booster draws examples from an oracle instead of using a fixed training set and so may train efficiently on very large datasets. Our algorithm, which is based on a logistic regression technique proposed by Collins, Schapire, & Singer, requires fewer assumptions to achieve bounds equivalent to or better than previous work. Moreover, we give the first proof that the algorithm of Collins et al. is a strong PAC learner, albeit within the filtering setting. Our proofs demonstrate the algorithm's strong theoretical properties for both classification and conditional probability estimation, and we validate these results through extensive experiments. Empirically, our algorithm proves more robust to noise and overfitting than batch boosters in conditional probability estimation and proves competitive in classification.