CombNET-III: A Support Vector Machine Based Large Scale Classifier with Probabilistic Framework

Mauricio KUGLER  Susumu KUROYANAGI  Anto Satriyo NUGROHO  Akira IWATA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E89-D   No.9   pp.2533-2541
Publication Date: 2006/09/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Pattern Recognition
large scale classification problems,  support vector machines,  probabilistic framework,  divide-and-conquer,  

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Several research fields have to deal with very large classification problems, e.g. handwritten character recognition and speech recognition. Many works have proposed methods to address problems with large number of samples, but few works have been done concerning problems with large numbers of classes. CombNET-II was one of the first methods proposed for such a kind of task. It consists of a sequential clustering VQ based gating network (stem network) and several Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) based expert classifiers (branch networks). With the objectives of increasing the classification accuracy and providing a more flexible model, this paper proposes a new model based on the CombNET-II structure, the CombNET-III. The new model, intended for, but not limited to, problems with large number of classes, replaces the branch networks MLP with multiclass Support Vector Machines (SVM). It also introduces a new probabilistic framework that outputs posterior class probabilities, enabling the model to be applied in different scenarios (e.g. together with Hidden Markov Models). These changes permit the use of a larger number of smaller clusters, which reduce the complexity of the final classifiers. Moreover, the use of binary SVM with probabilistic outputs and a probabilistic decoding scheme permit the use of a pairwise output encoding on the branch networks, which reduces the computational complexity of the training stage. The experimental results show that the proposed model outperforms both the previous model CombNET-II and a single multiclass SVM, while presenting considerably smaller complexity than the latter. It is also confirmed that CombNET-III classification accuracy scales better with the increasing number of clusters, in comparison with CombNET-II.