Reliable Computing

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 487–509 | Cite as

Tree-Based Credal Networks for Classification

  • Marco Zaffalon
  • Enrico Fagiuoli


Bayesian networks are models for uncertain reasoning which are achieving a growing importance also for the data mining task of classification. Credal networks extend Bayesian nets to sets of distributions, or credal sets. This paper extends a state-of-the-art Bayesian net for classification, called tree-augmented naive Bayes classifier, to credal sets originated from probability intervals. This extension is a basis to address the fundamental problem of prior ignorance about the distribution that generates the data, which is a commonplace in data mining applications. This issue is often neglected, but addressing it properly is a key to ultimately draw reliable conclusions from the inferred models. In this paper we formalize the new model, develop an exact linear-time classification algorithm, and evaluate the credal net-based classifier on a number of real data sets. The empirical analysis shows that the new classifier is good and reliable, and raises a problem of excessive caution that is discussed in the paper. Overall, given the favorable trade-off between expressiveness and efficient computation, the newly proposed classifier appears to be a good candidate for the wide-scale application of reliable classifiers based on credal networks, to real and complex tasks.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Zaffalon
    • 1
  • Enrico Fagiuoli
    • 2
  1. 1.IDSIAManno (Lugano)Switzerland
  2. 2.DiSCoUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanoItaly

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