, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 133-153
Date: 06 Aug 2008

Multilabel classification via calibrated label ranking


Label ranking studies the problem of learning a mapping from instances to rankings over a predefined set of labels. Hitherto existing approaches to label ranking implicitly operate on an underlying (utility) scale which is not calibrated in the sense that it lacks a natural zero point. We propose a suitable extension of label ranking that incorporates the calibrated scenario and substantially extends the expressive power of these approaches. In particular, our extension suggests a conceptually novel technique for extending the common learning by pairwise comparison approach to the multilabel scenario, a setting previously not being amenable to the pairwise decomposition technique. The key idea of the approach is to introduce an artificial calibration label that, in each example, separates the relevant from the irrelevant labels. We show that this technique can be viewed as a combination of pairwise preference learning and the conventional relevance classification technique, where a separate classifier is trained to predict whether a label is relevant or not. Empirical results in the area of text categorization, image classification and gene analysis underscore the merits of the calibrated model in comparison to state-of-the-art multilabel learning methods.

Editor: Tom Fawcett.