Sparse perceptron decision tree for millions of dimensions

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Conference Proceeding
30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2016, 2016, pp. 1881 - 1887
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© 2016, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence ( All rights reserved. Due to the nonlinear but highly interpretable representations, decision tree (DT) models have significantly attracted a lot of attention of researchers. However, DT models usually suffer from the curse of dimensionality and achieve degenerated performance when there are many noisy features. To address these issues, this paper first presents a novel data-dependent generalization error bound for the perceptron decision tree (PDT), which provides the theoretical justification to learn a sparse linear hyperplane in each decision node and to prune the tree. Following our analysis, we introduce the notion of sparse perceptron decision node (SPDN) with a budget constraint on the weight coefficients, and propose a sparse perceptron decision tree (SPDT) algorithm to achieve nonlinear prediction performance. To avoid generating an unstable and complicated decision tree and improve the generalization of the SPDT, we present a pruning strategy by learning classifiers to minimize cross-validation errors on each SPDN. Extensive empirical studies verify that our SPDT is more resilient to noisy features and effectively generates a small, yet accurate decision tree. Compared with state-of-The-Art DT methods and SVM, our SPDT achieves better generalization performance on ultrahigh dimensional problems with more than 1 million features.
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