Soft Computing

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 4313–4330 | Cite as

The influence of noise on the evolutionary fuzzy systems for subgroup discovery

  • J. Luengo
  • A. M. García-Vico
  • M. D. Pérez-Godoy
  • C. J. CarmonaEmail author


External factors such as the presence of noise in data can affect the data mining process. This is a common problem that produces several negative consequences which involves errors in the data collection, preparation and, above all, in the results obtained by the data mining techniques employed. The capabilities of the models built under such circumstances will depend heavily on the quality of the training data. Hence, problems containing noise are complex problems and accurate solutions are often difficult to achieve. A particular supervised learning field like subgroup discovery has overlooked the analysis of noise and its impact on the descriptions obtained. This paper presents an analysis of the impact of noise on the most relevant evolutionary fuzzy systems for subgroup discovery. We also focus on how filtering techniques, devised for predictive tasks, may alleviate the impact of noise on descriptive fields such as subgroup discovery. Specifically, the analysis is carried out using recent filtering techniques for several class noise levels. The results obtained show two different behaviours, on the one hand, the SDIGA and NMEEFSD algorithms present a decrease in the quality of the subgroups when the noise is increased, making necessary the application of noise filtering in order to compensate for this loss of quality. On the other hand, the FuGePSD algorithm demonstrates its great capacity to work in noisy environments without the necessity of using a preliminary filter. The study is completed with an analysis of the interpretability under the influence of noise focused on the number of rules and variables.


Subgroup discovery Class noise Noise filters Evolutionary fuzzy systems 



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under Project TIN2015-68454-R (FEDER Founds), by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology under Project TIN2014-57251-P (National Projects) and by the Regional Excellence Projects P11-TIC-7765 and P12-TIC-2958.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants and animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Artificial IntelligenceUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of JaenJaénSpain
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering, Languages and Systems AreaUniversity of BurgosBurgosSpain

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