A Bayes consistent 1-NN classifier

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Aryeh Kontorovich, Roi Weiss ;
Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 38:480-488, 2015.

Abstract

We show that a simple modification of the 1-nearest neighbor classifier yields a strongly Bayes consistent learner. Prior to this work, the only strongly Bayes consistent proximity-based method was the k-nearest neighbor classifier, for k growing appropriately with sample size. We will argue that a margin-regularized 1-NN enjoys considerable statistical and algorithmic advantages over the k-NN classifier. These include user-friendly finite-sample error bounds, as well as time- and memory-efficient learning and test-point evaluation algorithms with a principled speed-accuracy tradeoff. Encouraging empirical results are reported.

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