Modeling reverse thinking for machine learning

  • Huihui Li
  • Guihua WenEmail author
Methodologies and Application


Human inertial thinking schemes can be formed through learning, which are then applied to quickly solve similar problems later. However, when problems are significantly different, inertial thinking generally presents the solutions that are definitely imperfect. In such cases, people will apply creative thinking, such as reverse thinking, to solve problems. Similarly, machine learning methods also form inertial thinking schemes through learning the knowledge from a large amount of data. However, when the testing samples are vastly different, the formed inertial thinking schemes will inevitably generate errors. This kind of inertial thinking is called illusion inertial thinking. Because all machine learning methods do not consider the illusion inertial thinking, in this paper we propose a new method that uses the reverse thinking to correct the illusion inertial thinking, which increases the generalization ability of machine learning methods. Experimental results on benchmark data sets validated the proposed method.


Machine learning Inertial thinking model Modeling reverse thinking 



This study was supported by the China National Science Foundation (60973083/61273363), Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (2014A010103009/2015A020217002), and Guangzhou Science and Technology Planning Project (201504291154480, 201604020179, 201803010088).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This paper does not contain any studies with human or animals participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science and EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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