Ensemble learning methods like bagging, boosting, adaptive boosting, stacking have traditionally shown promising results in improving the predictive accuracy in classification. These techniques have recently been widely used in various domains and applications owing to the improvements in computational efficiency and distributed computing advances. However, with the advent of wide variety of applications of machine learning techniques to class imbalance problems, further focus is needed to evaluate, improve and optimize other performance measures such as sensitivity (true positive rate) and specificity (true negative rate) in classification. This thesis demonstrates a novel approach to evaluate and optimize the performance measures (specifically sensitivity and specificity) using ensemble learning methods for classification that can be especially useful in class imbalanced datasets. In this thesis, ensemble learning methods (specifically bagging and boosting) are used to optimize the performance measures (sensitivity and specificity) on a UC Irvine (UCI) 130 hospital diabetes dataset to predict if a patient will be readmitted to the hospital based on various feature vectors. From the experiments conducted, it can be empirically concluded that, by using ensemble learning methods, although accuracy does improve to some margin, both sensitivity and specificity are optimized significantly and consistently over different cross validation approaches. The implementation and evaluation has been done on a subset of the large UCI 130 hospital diabetes dataset. The performance measures of ensemble learners are compared to the base machine learning classification algorithms such as Naive Bayes, Logistic Regression, k Nearest Neighbor, Decision Trees and Support Vector Machines.
- Optimizing Performance Measures in Classification Using Ensemble Learning Methods
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