Ensemble Methods: Foundations and Algorithms

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ISBN 9781439830031
Cat# K11467



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  • Supplies the basics for readers unfamiliar with machine learning and pattern recognition
  • Introduces the use of ensemble methods in computer vision, computer security, medical imaging, and famous data mining competitions, such as the KDD-Cup and Netflix Prize
  • Presents the theoretical foundations and extensions of many ensemble methods, including Boosting, Bagging, Random Trees, and Stacking
  • Covers nearly all aspects of ensemble techniques such as combination methods and diversity generation methods
  • Highlights future research directions
  • Provides additional reading sections in each chapter and references at the back of the book


An up-to-date, self-contained introduction to a state-of-the-art machine learning approach, Ensemble Methods: Foundations and Algorithms shows how these accurate methods are used in real-world tasks. It gives you the necessary groundwork to carry out further research in this evolving field.

After presenting background and terminology, the book covers the main algorithms and theories, including Boosting, Bagging, Random Forest, averaging and voting schemes, the Stacking method, mixture of experts, and diversity measures. It also discusses multiclass extension, noise tolerance, error-ambiguity and bias-variance decompositions, and recent progress in information theoretic diversity.

Moving on to more advanced topics, the author explains how to achieve better performance through ensemble pruning and how to generate better clustering results by combining multiple clusterings. In addition, he describes developments of ensemble methods in semi-supervised learning, active learning, cost-sensitive learning, class-imbalance learning, and comprehensibility enhancement.

Table of Contents

Basic Concepts
Popular Learning Algorithms
Evaluation and Comparison
Ensemble Methods
Applications of Ensemble Methods

A General Boosting Procedure
The AdaBoost Algorithm
Illustrative Examples
Theoretical Issues
Multiclass Extension
Noise Tolerance

Two Ensemble Paradigms
The Bagging Algorithm
Illustrative Examples
Theoretical Issues
Random Tree Ensembles

Combination Methods
Benefits of Combination
Combining by Learning
Other Combination Methods
Relevant Methods

Ensemble Diversity
Error Decomposition
Diversity Measures
Information Theoretic Diversity
Diversity Generation

Ensemble Pruning
What Is Ensemble Pruning
Many Could Be Better Than All
Categorization of Pruning Methods
Ordering-Based Pruning
Clustering-Based Pruning
Optimization-Based Pruning

Clustering Ensembles
Categorization of Clustering Ensemble Methods
Similarity-Based Methods
Graph-Based Methods
Relabeling-Based Methods
Transformation-Based Methods

Advanced Topics
Semi-Supervised Learning
Active Learning
Cost-Sensitive Learning
Class-Imbalance Learning
Improving Comprehensibility
Future Directions of Ensembles



Further Readings appear at the end of each chapter.

Author Bio(s)

Editorial Reviews

"… a valuable contribution to theoretical and practical ensemble learning. The material is very well presented, preliminaries and basic knowledge are discussed in detail, and many illustrations and pseudo-code tables help to understand the facts of this interesting field of research. Therefore, the book will become a helpful tool for practitioners working in the field of machine learning or pattern recognition as well as for students of engineering or computer sciences at the graduate and postgraduate level. I heartily recommend this book!"
IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine, February 2013

"While the book is rather written for a machine learning and pattern recognition audience, the terminology is well explained and therefore also easily understandable for readers from other areas. In general the book is well structured and written and presents nicely the different ideas and approaches for combining single learners as well as their strengths and limitations."
—Klaus Nordhausen, International Statistical Review (2013), 81

"Professor Zhou’s book is a comprehensive introduction to ensemble methods in machine learning. It reviews the latest research in this exciting area. I learned a lot reading it!"
—Thomas G. Dietterich, Professor and Director of Intelligent Systems Research, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA; ACM Fellow; and Founding President of the International Machine Learning Society

"This is a timely book. Right time and right book … with an authoritative but inclusive style that will allow many readers to gain knowledge on the topic."
—Fabio Roli, University of Cagliari, Italy