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Investigating the Rule Construction Mechanism in Ant-Miner

Hariharan Anantharaman

This project will appeal to you if you are interested in Learning from Data and Nature-Inspired Computation.

Ant-Miner [1] is the product of the first application of Ant Colony Optimization [2] to the induction of classification rules. The developers of Ant-Miner state that rule pruning is important to improve the accuracy of the induced rules. FRANTIC [3] is a development of ACO for the induction of fuzzy classification rules, and early experiments indicate that the rule pruning procedure used in Ant-Miner does not significantly improve the accuracy of FRANTIC induced rules.

A possible explanation is that Ant-Miner constructs rule antecedents prior to determining their rule consequents, whilst the opposite is true for FRANTIC. During FRANTIC rule construction all terms in an antecedent are added on the basis of how well they describe the same predetermined consequent – the partial rule antecedent must always cover a pre-specified number of training instances of the same class (class-dependent rule construction). During Ant-Miner rule construction the partial rule antecedent must still cover a minimum number of instances, but no restriction is placed on their class label, i.e. the instances covered may belong to different classes (class-independent rule construction).

[3] suggests that the Ant-Miner approach to rule construction necessitates rule pruning to resolve (remove) terms added due to instances with different class labels. However, there is no evidence to support or contradict this conjecture and this is what this project aims to provide.

This project provides the opportunity to explore a research question with the potential to advance our understanding of not merely one specific rule induction algorithm (Ant-Miner), but of several, i.e. algorithms that use class-dependent rule construction versus those that use class-independent rule construction. The project is challenging as it will necessitate identifying elements of the Ant-Miner algorithm that might require changes in order to make a comparison between the two rule construction approaches equitable.

PDF icon MSc-2011-AM-RuleConstruction.pdf354.92 KB
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