Transfer synthetic over-sampling for class-imbalance learning with limited minority class data

Abstract

The problem of limited minority class data is encountered in many class imbalanced applications, but has received little attention. Synthetic over-sampling, as popular class-imbalance learning methods, could introduce much noise when minority class has limited data since the synthetic samples are not i.i.d. samples of minority class. Most sophisticated synthetic sampling methods tackle this problem by denoising or generating samples more consistent with ground-truth data distribution. But their assumptions about true noise or ground-truth data distribution may not hold. To adapt synthetic sampling to the problem of limited minority class data, the proposed Traso framework treats synthetic minority class samples as an additional data source, and exploits transfer learning to transfer knowledge from them to minority class. As an implementation, TrasoBoost method firstly generates synthetic samples to balance class sizes. Then in each boosting iteration, the weights of synthetic samples and original data decrease and increase respectively when being misclassified, and remain unchanged otherwise. The misclassified synthetic samples are potential noise, and thus have smaller influence in the following iterations. Besides, the weights of minority class instances have greater change than those of majority class instances to be more influential. And only original data are used to estimate error rate to be immune from noise. Finally, since the synthetic samples are highly related to minority class, all of the weak learners are aggregated for prediction. Experimental results show TrasoBoost outperforms many popular class-imbalance learning methods.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the associate editor and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFB1002801), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61473087, 61573104), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20141340), and partially supported by the Collaborative Innovation Center of Novel Software Technology and Industrialization.

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Correspondence to Xu-Ying Liu.

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Xu-Ying Liu received the BS degree in computer science from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China, the MS and PhD degrees in computer science from Nanjing University, China in 2006 and 2010, respectively. Now she is an assistant professor at the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Southeast University, China. Her research interests mainly include machine learning and data mining.

Sheng-Tao Wang, received MS degree in computer science and engineering from Southeast University, China in 2017. He is currently a big data development engineer in Helium Data. His research interests include machine learning and data mining.

Min-Ling Zhang received the BS, MS, and PhD degrees in computer science from Nanjing University, China in 2001, 2004 and 2007, respectively. Currently, he is a professor at the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Southeast University, China. In recent years, Dr. Zhang has served as the Program Co- Chairs of ACML’17, CCFAI’17, PRICAI’16, Senior PC member or Area Chair of AAAI’18/’17, IJCAI’17/’15, ICDM’17/’16, PAKDD’16/’15, etc. He is also on the editorial board of Frontiers of Computer Science, ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology, Neural Networks. Dr. Zhang is the secretary-general of the CAAI (Chinese Association of Artificial Intelligence) Machine Learning Society, standing committee member of the CCF (China Computer Federation) Artificial Intelligence & Pattern Recognition Society.

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Liu, X., Wang, S. & Zhang, M. Transfer synthetic over-sampling for class-imbalance learning with limited minority class data. Front. Comput. Sci. 13, 996–1009 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11704-018-7182-1

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Keywords

  • machine learning
  • data mining
  • class imbalance
  • over sampling
  • boosting
  • transfer learning