CS 782 Machine Learning. 9 InstanceBased Learning. Prof. Gheorghe Tecuci. Learning Agents Laboratory Computer Science Department George Mason University. Overview. Exemplarbased representation of concepts. The knearest neighbor algorithm. Discussion.
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9 InstanceBased Learning
Prof. Gheorghe Tecuci
Learning Agents Laboratory
Computer Science Department
George Mason University
Exemplarbased representation of concepts
The knearest neighbor algorithm
Discussion
Lazy Learning versus Eager Learning
Recommended reading
Let us consider a set of concepts C = {c1, c2, ... , cn}, covering a universe of instances I.
Each concept ci represents a subset of I.
How is a concept usually represented?
How does one test whether an object ‘a’ is an instance of a concept “c1”?
Intentional representation of concepts
How is a concept usually represented?
Usually, a concept is represented intentionally by a description covering the positive examples of the concept and not covering the negative examples.
How does one test whether an object ‘a’ is an instance of a concept “ci”?
The set of instances represented by a concept ci is the set of instances of the description of ci.Therefore, testing if an object a is an instance of a concept ci reduces to testing if the description of ci is more general than the description of a.
How could we represent a concept extensionally?
How could we represent a concept extensionally, without specifying all its instances?
Exemplar based representation of concepts
An instance ‘a’ belongs to the concept ci if ‘a’ is similar to an element eij of ci, and this similarity is greater than q, that is, f(eij, ci) > q.
How could a concept ci be generalized in this representation?
Generalization in exemplar based representations
How could a concept ci be generalized in this representation?
Why are these generalization operations?
Is there an alternative to considering the threshold value q for classification of an instance?
Prediction with exemplar based representations
Let us consider a set of concepts C = {c1, c2, ... , cn}, covering a universe of instances I.
Each concept ci is represented extensionally as a collection of examples ci = {ei1, ei2, ...}.
Let ‘a’ be an instance to classify.
How to decide to which concept does ‘a’ belong?
Different answers to this question lead to different learning methods.
Let ‘a’ be an instance to classify in one of the classes
{c1, c2, ... , cn}.
How to decide to which concept does it belong?
Method 1
‘a’ belongs to the concept ci if ‘a’ is similar to an element eij of ci, and this similarity is greater than the similarity between ‘a’ and any other concept exemplar (1nearest neighbor).
What is a potential problem with 1nearest neighbor?
Hint: Think of an exemplar which is not typical.
How could the problem with method 1 be alleviated?
Use more than one example.
Method 2
Consider the k most similar exemplars.
‘a’ belongs to the concept ci that contains most of the k exemplars (knearest neighbor).
What is a potential problem with knearest neighbor?
Hint: Think of the intuition behind instancebased learning.
How could the problem with method 2 be alleviated?
Weight the exemplars.
Answer 3
Consider the k most similar exemplars, but weight their contribution to the class of ‘a’ by their distance to ‘a’, giving greater weight to the closest neighbors (distanceweighted nearest neighbor).
Exemplarbased representation of concepts
The knearest neighbor algorithms
Discussion
Lazy Learning versus Eager Learning
Recommended reading
The knearest neighbor algorithm
Each example is represented using the featurevector representation:
ei = (a1=vi1, a2=vi2, … , an=vin)
The distance between two examples ei and ej is the Euclidean distance:
d(ei, ej) = √Σ (vik  vjk)2
Training algorithm
Each example is represented as a featurevalue vector.
For each training example (eik Ci) add eik to the exemplars of Ci.
Classification algorithm
Let ‘a’ be an instance to classify.
Find the k most similar exemplars.
Assign ‘a’ to the concept that contains the most of the k exemplars.
Nearest neighbors algorithms: illustration




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q1
e1
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1nearest neighbor:
the concept represented by e1
5nearest neighbors:
q1 is classified as negative
Exemplar based representation of concepts
The knearest neighbor algorithms
Discussion
Lazy Learning versus Eager Learning
Recommended reading
Nearest neighbors algorithms: inductive bias
What is the inductive bias of the knearest neighbor algorithm?
The assumption that the classification of an instance ‘a’ will be most similar to the classification of other instances that are nearby in the Euclidian space.
Which are some practical issues in applying the knearest neighbor algorithms?
Because the distance between instances is based on all the attributes, less relevant attributes and even the irrelevant ones are used in the classification of a new instance.
Because the algorithm delays all processing until a new classification/prediction is required, significant processing is needed to make the prediction.
Because the algorithm is based on a distance function, the attribute values should be such that a distance could be computed.
How to alleviate these problems?
Application issue: the use of the attributes
The classification of an example is based on all the attributes, independent of their relevance. Even the irrelevant attributes are used.
How to alleviate this problem?
Weight the contribution of each attribute, based on its relevance.
How to determine the relevance of an attribute?
Use an approach similar to crossvalidation.
How?
Application issue: processing for classification
Because the algorithm delays all processing until a new classification/prediction is required, significant processing is needed to make the prediction.
How to alleviate this problem?
Use complex indexing techniques to facilitate the identification of the nearest neighbors at some additional cost in memory.
How?
Tress where the leaves are exemplars, nearby exemplars are stored at nearby nodes, and internal nodes sort the query to the relevant leaf by testing selected attributes.
Instancebased learning: discussion
Which are the advantages of the instancebased learning algorithms?
Which are the disadvantages of the instancebased learning algorithms?
Instancebased learning: advantages
Model complex concept descriptions using simpler example descriptions.
Information present in the training examples is never lost, because the examples themselves are stored explicitly.
Instancebased learning: disadvantages
Efficiency of labeling new instances is low, because all processing is done at prediction time.
It is difficult to determine an appropriate distance function, especially when examples are represented as complex symbolic expressions.
Irrelevant features have a negative impact of on the distance metric.
Lazy Learning versus Eager Learning
Lazy learning
Defer the decision of how to generalize beyond the training data until each new query instance is encountered.
Eager learning
Generalizes beyond the training data before observing the new query, committing at the training time to the learned concept.
How do the two types of learning compare in terms of computation time?
Lazy learners require less computation time for training and more for prediction.
Suggest a lazy version of the eager decision tree learning algorithm ID3.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of your lazy algorithm compared to the original eager algorithm?
Mitchell T.M., Machine Learning, Chapter 8: Instancebased learning,
pp. 230  248, McGraw Hill, 1997.
Kibler D, Aha D., Learning Representative Exemplars of Concepts: An Initial Case Study, in J.W.Shavlik, T.G.Dietterich (eds), Readings in Machine Learning, Morgan Kaufmann, 1990.