G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Sparse Predictive Modeling : A Cost-Effective Perspective

List of Authors: Naula. Pekka
Publisher: Turku Centre for Computer Science
Place: Turku
Publication year: 2017
eISBN: 978-952-12-3590-0


Many real life problems encountered in industry, economics or engineering are complex and difficult to model by conventional mathematical methods. Machine learning provides a wide variety of methods and tools for solving such problems by learning mathematical models from data. Methods from the field have found their way to applications such as medical diagnosis, financial forecasting, and web-search engines. The predictions made by a learned model are based on a vector of feature values describing the input to the model. However, predictions do not come for free in real world applications, since the feature values of the input have to be bought, measured or produced before the model can be used. Feature selection is a process of eliminating irrelevant and redundant features from the model. Traditionally, it has been applied for achieving interpretable and more accurate models, while the possibility of lowering prediction costs has received much less attention in the literature.

In this thesis we consider novel feature selection techniques for reducing prediction costs. The contributions of this thesis are as follows. First, we propose several cost types characterizing the cost of performing prediction with a trained model. Particularly, we consider costs emerging from multitarget prediction problems as well as a number of cost types arising when the feature extraction process is structured. Second, we develop greedy regularized least-squares methods to maximize the predictive performance of the models under given budget constraints. Empirical evaluations are performed on numerous benchmark data sets as well as on a novel water quality analysis application. The results demonstrate that in settings where the considered cost types apply, the proposed methods lead to substantial cost savings compared to conventional methods.

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Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 22:34