Machine Learning

On the use of ROC analysis for the optimization of abstaining classifiers

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Classifiers that refrain from classification in certain cases can significantly reduce the misclassification cost. However, the parameters for such abstaining classifiers are often set in a rather ad-hoc manner. We propose a method to optimally build a specific type of abstaining binary classifiers using ROC analysis. These classifiers are built based on optimization criteria in the following three models: cost-based, bounded-abstention and bounded-improvement. We show that selecting the optimal classifier in the first model is similar to known iso-performance lines and uses only the slopes of ROC curves, whereas selecting the optimal classifier in the remaining two models is not straightforward. We investigate the properties of the convex-down ROCCH (ROC Convex Hull) and present a simple and efficient algorithm for finding the optimal classifier in these models, namely, the bounded-abstention and bounded-improvement models. We demonstrate the application of these models to effectively reduce misclassification cost in real-life classification systems. The method has been validated with an ROC building algorithm and cross-validation on 15 UCI KDD datasets. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.



Machine Learning