Pattern Analysis and Applications

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 381–395 | Cite as

Dealing with overlap and imbalance: a new metric and approach

Theoretical Advances


This paper addresses learning in complex scenarios involving imbalance and overlap. We propose a novel measure, the Augmented R-value, for estimating the level of overlap in the data. It improves an existing model-based measure, by including the data imbalance in the estimation process. We provide both a theoretical demonstration and empirical validations of the new metric’s efficacy in estimating the overlap level. Another contribution of the present paper is to propose a collection of meta-features to be used in conjunction with a meta-learning strategy for predicting the most suitable classifier for a given problem. The evaluations performed on a well-known collection of benchmark problems have shown that the meta-learning approach achieves superior results to the manual classifier selection process normally carried out by data scientists. The analysis of the results obtained by the meta-feature selection step has confirmed the power of the Augmented R-value in predicting the expected performance of classifiers in such complex classification scenarios. Also, we found that the overlap is a more serious factor affecting the performance of classifiers than imbalance.


Imbalance Overlap Augmented R-value Meta-classification 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zalán Borsos
    • 1
  • Camelia Lemnaru
    • 1
  • Rodica Potolea
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceTechnical University of Cluj-NapocaCluj-NapocaRomania

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