Finding the Tree in the Forest
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)
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.
decision support, decision trees, genetic programming, alternative solutions, inconsistency
Computer Science Computer and Information Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-6416Local ID: 2320/6870ISBN: 978-972-8939-30-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-6416DiVA: diva2:887104