Date: 30 Aug 2001

Proportional k-Interval Discretization for Naive-Bayes Classifiers

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This paper argues that two commonly-used discretization approaches, fixed k-interval discretization and entropy-based discretization have sub-optimal characteristics for naive-Bayes classification. This analysis leads to a new discretization method, Proportional k-Interval Discretization (PKID), which adjusts the number and size of discretized intervals to the number of training instances, thus seeks an appropriate trade-off between the bias and variance of the probability estimation for naive-Bayes classifiers. We justify PKID in theory, as well as test it on a wide cross-section of datasets. Our experimental results suggest that in comparison to its alternatives, PKID provides naive-Bayes classifiers competitive classification performance for smaller datasets and better classification performance for larger datasets.