Analyzing concept drift and shift from sample data


Concept drift and shift are major issues that greatly affect the accuracy and reliability of many real-world applications of machine learning. We propose a new data mining task, concept drift mapping—the description and analysis of instances of concept drift or shift. We argue that concept drift mapping is an essential prerequisite for tackling concept drift and shift. We propose tools for this purpose, arguing for the importance of quantitative descriptions of drift and shift in marginal distributions. We present quantitative concept drift mapping techniques, along with methods for visualizing their results. We illustrate their effectiveness for real-world applications across energy-pricing, vegetation monitoring and airline scheduling.

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This work was supported by the Australian Research Council under Awards DP140100087 and DE170100037. This material is based upon work supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD) under Award Number FA2386-17-1-4033. The authors would like to thank the colleagues from CESBIO (Jordi Inglada, Arthur Vincent, Marcela Arias, Benjamin Tardy, David Morin and Isabel Rodes) for providing the Satellite dataset (data and labels).

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Correspondence to Geoffrey I. Webb.

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Responsible editor: Jesse Davis, Elisa Fromont, Derek Greene, and Bjorn Bringmann.

Proof that drift magnitude is monotone under increasing dimensionality

Proof that drift magnitude is monotone under increasing dimensionality

We here prove that total variation distance is monotone under increasing dimensionality. The proof generalizes trivially to Hellinger distance. Note that where one set of variables is conditioned on another, it is the dimensionality of the conditioned variable rather than the conditioning variables over which this monotone increase in distance applies.

Let XZ be sets of covariates.

$$\begin{aligned} \sigma _{t,u}(X)\le & {} \sigma _{t,u}(X,Z) \\&\Updownarrow&\\ \frac{1}{2}\sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{x}\in \mathrm{dom}(X)} \end{array}}\left| P_t(\bar{x})-P_u(\bar{x})\right|\le & {} \frac{1}{2}\sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{x}\in \mathrm{dom}(X)} \\ {\bar{z}\in \mathrm{dom}(Z)} \end{array}}\left| P_t(\bar{x},\bar{z})-P_u(\bar{x},\bar{z})\right| \\&\Updownarrow&\\ \sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{x}\in \mathrm{dom}(X)} \end{array}}\left| \sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{z}\in \mathrm{dom}(Z)} \end{array}} P_t(\bar{x},\bar{z})- \sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{z}\in \mathrm{dom}(Z)} \end{array}} P_u(\bar{x},\bar{z})\right|\le & {} \sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{x}\in \mathrm{dom}(X)} \end{array}}\sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{z}\in \mathrm{dom}(Z)} \end{array}}\left| P_t(\bar{x},\bar{z})-P_u(\bar{x},\bar{z})\right| \\&\Updownarrow&\\ \sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{x}\in \mathrm{dom}(X)} \end{array}}\left| \sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{z}\in \mathrm{dom}(Z)} \end{array}} P_t(\bar{x},\bar{z})-P_u(\bar{x},\bar{z})\right|\le & {} \sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{x}\in \mathrm{dom}(X)} \end{array}}\sum _{\begin{array}{c} {\bar{z}\in \mathrm{dom}(Z)} \end{array}}\left| P_t(\bar{x},\bar{z})-P_u(\bar{x},\bar{z})\right| \end{aligned}$$

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Webb, G.I., Lee, L.K., Goethals, B. et al. Analyzing concept drift and shift from sample data. Data Min Knowl Disc 32, 1179–1199 (2018).

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  • Concept drift
  • Concept shift
  • Non-stationary distribution
  • Visualisation
  • Mapping