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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting Feb 18, 2008 10-601 Machine Learning Thanks to Citeseer and : A Short Introduction to Boosting. Yoav Freund, Robert E. Schapire, Journal of Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence,14(5):771-780, September, 1999

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Valiant CACM 1984 and PAC- learning: partly inspired by Turing FormalInformal AIValiant (1984) Turing test (1950) ComplexityTuring machine (1936) 1936 - T Question: what sort of AI questions can we formalize and study with formal methods ?

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … “Weak” pac-learning (Kearns & Valiant 88) (PAC learning) say, ε=0.49

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … “Weak” PAC-learning is equivalent to “strong” PAC-learning (!) (Schapire 89) (PAC learning) say, ε=0.49 =

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … “Weak” PAC-learning is equivalent to “strong” PAC-learning (!) (Schapire 89) The basic idea exploits the fact that you can learn a little on every distribution: –Learn h1 from D0 with error < 49% –Modify D0 so that h1 has error 50% (call this D1) Flip a coin; if heads wait for an example where h1(x)=f(x), otherwise wait for an example where h1(x)!=f(x). –Learn h2 from D1 with error < 49% –Modify D1 so that h1 and h2 always disagree (call this D2) –Learn h3 from D2 with error <49%. –Now vote h1,h2, and h3. This has error better than any of the “weak” hypotheses. –Repeat this as needed to lower the error rate more….

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting can actually help experimentally…but… (Drucker, Schapire, Simard) The basic idea exploits the fact that you can learn a little on every distribution: –Learn h1 from D0 with error < 49% –Modify D0 so that h1 has error 50% (call this D1) Flip a coin; if heads wait for an example where h1(x)=f(x), otherwise wait for an example where h1(x)!=f(x). –Learn h2 from D1 with error < 49% –Modify D1 so that h1 and h2 always disagree (call this D2) –Learn h3 from D2 with error <49%. –Now vote h1,h2, and h3. This has error better than any of the “weak” hypotheses. –Repeat this as needed to lower the error rate more….

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … AdaBoost: Adaptive Boosting (Freund & Schapire, 1995) Theoretically, one can upper bound an upper bound on the training error of boosting.

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting improved decision trees…

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting single features performed well…

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting didn’t seem to overfit…(!)

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting is closely related to margin classifiers like SVM, voted perceptron, … (!)

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting and optimization 1999 - FHT Jerome Friedman, Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani. Additive logistic regression: a statistical view of boosting. The Annals of Statistics, 2000. Compared using AdaBoost to set feature weights vs direct optimization of feature weights to minimize log- likelihood, squared error, …

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1984 - V 1988 - KV 1989 - S 1993 - DSS 1995 - FS 1950 - T … … Boosting in the real world William’s wrap up: –Boosting is not discussed much in the ML research community any more It’s much too well understood –It’s really useful in practice as a meta-learning method Eg, boosted Naïve Bayes usually beats Naïve Bayes –Boosted decision trees are almost always competitive with respect to accuracy very robust against rescaling numeric features, extra features, non-linearities, … somewhat slower to learn and use than many linear classifiers But getting probabilities out of them is a little less reliable.

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