Cautious Inference in Collective Classification

Luke K. McDowell, Kalyan Moy Gupta, David W. Aha

Collective classification can significantly improve accuracy by exploiting relationships among instances. Although several collective inference procedures have been reported, they have not been thoroughly evaluated for their commonalities and differences. We introduce novel generalizations of three existing algorithms that allow such algorithmic and empirical comparisons. Our generalizations permit us to examine how cautiously or aggressively each algorithm exploits intermediate relational data, which can be noisy. We conjecture that cautious approaches that identify and preferentially exploit the more reliable intermediate data should outperform aggressive approaches. We explain why caution is useful and introduce three parameters to control the degree of caution. An empirical evaluation of collective classification algorithms, using two base classifiers on three data sets, supports our conjecture.

Subjects: 12. Machine Learning and Discovery; 3. Automated Reasoning

Submitted: Apr 20, 2007

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