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Expressive and modular rule-based classifier for data streams

Le, D. T. (2019) Expressive and modular rule-based classifier for data streams. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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The advances in computing software, hardware, connected devices and wireless communication infrastructure in recent years have led to the desire to work with streaming data sources. Yet the number of techniques, approaches and algorithms which can work with data from a streaming source is still very limited, compared with batched data. Although data mining techniques have been a well-studied topic of knowledge discovery for decades, many unique properties as well as challenges in learning from a data stream have not been considered properly due to the actual presence of and the real needs to mine information from streaming data sources. This thesis aims to contribute to the knowledge by developing a rule-based algorithm to specifically learn classification rules from data streams, with the learned rules are expressive so that a human user can easily interpret the concept and rationale behind the predictions of the created model. There are two main structures to represent a classification model; the ‘tree-based’ structure and the ‘rule-based’ structure. Even though both forms of representation are popular and well-known in traditional data mining, they are different when it comes to interpretability and quality of models in certain circumstances. The first part of this thesis analyses background work and relevant topics in learning classification rules from data streams. This study provides information about the essential requirements to produce high quality classification rules from data streams and how many systems, algorithms and techniques related to learn the classification of a static dataset are not applicable in a streaming environment. The second part of the thesis investigates at a new technique to improve the efficiency and accuracy in learning heuristics from numeric features from a streaming data source. The computational cost is one of the important factors to be considered for an effective and practical learning algorithm/system because of the needs to learn from continuous arrivals of data examples sequentially and discard the seen data examples. If the computing cost is too expensive, then one may not be able to keep pace with the arrival of high velocity and possibly unbound data streams. The proposed technique was first discussed in the context of the use of Gaussian distribution as heuristics for building rule terms on numeric features. Secondly, empirical evaluation shows the successful integration of the proposed technique into an existing rule-based algorithm for the data stream, eRules. Continuing on the topic of a rule-based algorithm for classification data streams, the use of Hoeffding’s Inequality addresses another problem in learning from a data stream, namely how much data should be seen from a data stream before starting learning and how to keep the model updated over time. By incorporating the theory from Hoeffding’s Inequality, this study presents the Hoeffding Rules algorithm, which can induce modular rules directly from a streaming data source with dynamic window sizes throughout the learning period to ensure the efficiency and robustness towards the concept drifts. Concept drift is another unique challenge in mining data streams which the underlying concept of the data can change either gradually or abruptly over time and the learner should adapt to these changes as quickly as possible. This research focuses on the development of a rule-based algorithm, Hoeffding Rules, for data stream which considers streaming environments as primary data sources and addresses several unique challenges in learning rules from data streams such as concept drifts and computational efficiency. This knowledge facilitates the need and the importance of an interpretable machine learning model; applying new studies to improve the ability to mine useful insights from potentially high velocity, high volume and unbounded data streams. More broadly, this research complements the study in learning classification rules from data streams to address some of the unique challenges in data streams compared with conventional batch data, with the knowledge necessary to systematically and effectively learn expressive and modular classification rules from data streams.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Stahl, F.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Computer Science
ID Code:85883


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