Data-Driven Structuring of the Output Space Improves the Performance of Multi-Target Regressors
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CitationS. Nikoloski, D. Kocev and S. Džeroski, "Data-Driven Structuring of the Output Space Improves the Performance of Multi-Target Regressors," in IEEE Access, vol. 7, pp. 145177-145198, 2019, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2945084.
AbstractThe task of multi-target regression (MTR) is concerned with learning predictive models capable of predicting multiple target variables simultaneously. MTR has attracted an increasing attention within research community in recent years, yielding a variety of methods. The methods can be divided into two main groups: problem transformation and problem adaptation. The former transform a MTR problem into simpler (typically single target) problems and apply known approaches, while the latter adapt the learning methods to directly handle the multiple target variables and learn better models which simultaneously predict all of the targets. Studies have identified the latter group of methods as having competitive advantage over the former, probably due to the fact that it exploits the interrelations of the multiple targets. In the related task of multi-label classification, it has been recently shown that organizing the multiple labels into a hierarchical structure can improve predictive performance. In this paper, we investigate whether organizing the targets into a hierarchical structure can improve the performance for MTR problems. More precisely, we propose to structure the multiple target variables into a hierarchy of variables, thus translating the task of MTR into a task of hierarchical multi-target regression (HMTR). We use four data-driven methods for devising the hierarchical structure that cluster the real values of the targets or the feature importance scores with respect to the targets. The evaluation of the proposed methodology on 16 benchmark MTR datasets reveals that structuring the multiple target variables into a hierarchy improves the predictive performance of the corresponding MTR models. The results also show that data-driven methods produce hierarchies that can improve the predictive performance even more than expert constructed hierarchies. Finally, the improvement in predictive performance is more pronounced for the datasets with very large numbers (more than hundred) of targets.
FunderEuropean Commission; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme
Grant NumberICT-2013-612944; 635201
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