Neural Computing and Applications

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 987–1013 | Cite as

Similarity-based attribute weighting methods via clustering algorithms in the classification of imbalanced medical datasets

  • Kemal PolatEmail author
Original Article


In the fields of pattern recognition and machine learning, the use of data preprocessing algorithms has been increasing in recent years to achieve high classification performance. In particular, it has become inevitable to use the data preprocessing method prior to classification algorithms in classifying medical datasets with the nonlinear and imbalanced data distribution. In this study, a new data preprocessing method has been proposed for the classification of Parkinson, hepatitis, Pima Indians, single proton emission computed tomography (SPECT) heart, and thoracic surgery medical datasets with the nonlinear and imbalanced data distribution. These datasets were taken from UCI machine learning repository. The proposed data preprocessing method consists of three steps. In the first step, the cluster centers of each attribute were calculated using k-means, fuzzy c-means, and mean shift clustering algorithms in medical datasets including Parkinson, hepatitis, Pima Indians, SPECT heart, and thoracic surgery medical datasets. In the second step, the absolute differences between the data in each attribute and the cluster centers are calculated, and then, the average of these differences is calculated for each attribute. In the final step, the weighting coefficients are calculated by dividing the mean value of the difference to the cluster centers, and then, weighting is performed by multiplying the obtained weight coefficients by the attribute values in the dataset. Three different attribute weighting methods have been proposed: (1) similarity-based attribute weighting in k-means clustering, (2) similarity-based attribute weighting in fuzzy c-means clustering, and (3) similarity-based attribute weighting in mean shift clustering. In this paper, we aimed to aggregate the data in each class together with the proposed attribute weighting methods and to reduce the variance value within the class. Thus, by reducing the value of variance in each class, we have put together the data in each class and at the same time, we have further increased the discrimination between the classes. To compare with other methods in the literature, the random subsampling has been used to handle the imbalanced dataset classification. After attribute weighting process, four classification algorithms including linear discriminant analysis, k-nearest neighbor classifier, support vector machine, and random forest classifier have been used to classify imbalanced medical datasets. To evaluate the performance of the proposed models, the classification accuracy, precision, recall, area under the ROC curve, κ value, and F-measure have been used. In the training and testing of the classifier models, three different methods including the 50–50% train–test holdout, the 60–40% train–test holdout, and tenfold cross-validation have been used. The experimental results have shown that the proposed attribute weighting methods have obtained higher classification performance than random subsampling method in the handling of classifying of the imbalanced medical datasets.


Imbalanced medical dataset classification Data preprocessing Attribute weighting Clustering algorithms 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that there is no conflict of interest in anywhere.


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Copyright information

© The Natural Computing Applications Forum 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and ArchitectureAbant Izzet Baysal UniversityBoluTurkey

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