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Finding the Tree in the Forest
University of Borås, School of Business and IT. (CSL@BS)
University of Borås, School of Business and IT. (CSL@BS)
2010 (English)In: Proceeding of IADIS International Conference Applied Computing 2010 / [ed] Hans Weghorn, Pedro Isaías, Radu Vasio, IADIS Press , 2010, 135-142 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Decision trees are often used for decision support since they are fast to train, easy to understand and deterministic; i.e., always create identical trees from the same training data. This property is, however, only inherent in the actual decision tree algorithm, nondeterministic techniques such as genetic programming could very well produce different trees with similar accuracy and complexity for each execution. Clearly, if more than one solution exists, it would be misleading to present a single tree to a decision maker. On the other hand, too many alternatives could not be handled manually, and would only lead to confusion. Hence, we argue for a method aimed at generating a suitable number of alternative decision trees with comparable accuracy and complexity. When too many alternative trees exist, they are grouped and representative accurate solutions are selected from each group. Using domain knowledge, a decision maker could then select a single best tree and, if required, be presented with a small set of similar solutions, in order to further improve his decisions. In this paper, a method for generating alternative decision trees is suggested and evaluated. All in all,four different techniques for selecting accurate representative trees from groups of similar solutions are presented. Experiments on 19 UCI data sets show that it often exist dozens of alternative trees, and that one of the evaluated techniques clearly outperforms all others for selecting accurate and representative models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IADIS Press , 2010. 135-142 p.
Keyword [en]
decision support, decision trees, genetic programming, alternative solutions, inconsistency
Keyword [sv]
Data Mining
National Category
Computer Science Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-6416Local ID: 2320/6870ISBN: 978-972-8939-30-4OAI: diva2:887104
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22

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König, RikardJohansson, Ulf
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