Attribute weighting: how and when does it work for Bayesian Network Classification

Abstract

A Bayesian Network (BN) is a graphical model which can be used to represent conditional dependency between random variables, such as diseases and symptoms. A Bayesian Network Classifier (BNC) uses BN to characterize the relationships between attributes and the class labels, where a simplified approach is to employ a conditional independence assumption between attributes and the corresponding class labels, i.e., the Naive Bayes (NB) classification model. One major approach to mitigate NB’s primary weakness (the conditional independence assumption) is the attribute weighting, and this type of approach has been proved to be effective for NB with simple structure. However, for weighted BNCs involving complex structures, in which attribute weighting is embedded into the model, there is no existing study on whether the weighting will work for complex BNCs and how effective it will impact on the learning of a given task. In this paper, we first survey several complex structure models for BNCs, and then carry out experimental studies to investigate the effectiveness of the attribute weighting strategies for complex BNCs, with a focus on Hidden Naive Bayes (HNB) and Averaged One-Dependence Estimation (AODE). Our studies use classification accuracy (ACC), area under the ROC curve ranking (AUC), and conditional log likelihood (CLL), as the performance metrics. Experiments and comparisons on 36 benchmark data sets demonstrate that attribute weighting technologies just slightly outperforms unweighted complex BNCs with respect to the ACC and AUC, but significant improvement can be observed using CLL.

Publication
Proceedings of the 2014 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks