Conceptual equivalence for contrast mining in classification learning

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Data and Knowledge Engineering, 2008, 67 (3), pp. 413 - 429
Issue Date:
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Learning often occurs through comparing. In classification learning, in order to compare data groups, most existing methods compare either raw instances or learned classification rules against each other. This paper takes a different approach, namely conceptual equivalence, that is, groups are equivalent if their underlying concepts are equivalent while their instance spaces do not necessarily overlap and their rule sets do not necessarily present the same appearance. A new methodology of comparing is proposed that learns a representation of each group's underlying concept and respectively cross-exams one group's instances by the other group's concept representation. The innovation is fivefold. First, it is able to quantify the degree of conceptual equivalence between two groups. Second, it is able to retrace the source of discrepancy at two levels: an abstract level of underlying concepts and a specific level of instances. Third, it applies to numeric data as well as categorical data. Fourth, it circumvents direct comparisons between (possibly a large number of) rules that demand substantial effort. Fifth, it reduces dependency on the accuracy of employed classification algorithms. Empirical evidence suggests that this new methodology is effective and yet simple to use in scenarios such as noise cleansing and concept-change learning. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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