Multi-Stage Classifier Design


Kirill Trapeznikov, Venkatesh Saligrama, David Castañón ;
Proceedings of the Asian Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 25:459-474, 2012.


In many classification systems, sensing modalities have different acquisition costs. It is often unnecessary to use every modality to classify a majority of examples. We study a multi-stage system in a prediction time cost reduction setting, where the full data is available for training, but for a test example, measurements in a new modality can be acquired at each stage for an additional cost. We seek decision rules to reduce the average measurement acquisition cost. We formulate an empirical risk minimization problem (ERM) for a multi-stage reject classifier, wherein the stage k classifier either classifies a sample using only the measurements acquired so far or rejects it to the next stage where more attributes can be acquired for a cost. To solve the ERM problem, we factorize the cost function into classification and rejection decisions. We then transform reject decisions into a binary classification problem. We construct stage-by-stage global surrogate risk, develop an iterative algorithm in the boosting framework and present convergence results. We test our work on synthetic, medical and explosives detection datasets. Our results demonstrate that substantial cost reduction without a significant sacrifice in accuracy is achievable.

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