Combining Classifiers with Meta Decision Trees

Ljupco Todorovski and Saso Dzeroski


The paper introduces meta decision trees (MDTs), a novel method for combining multiple classifiers. Instead of giving a prediction, MDT leaves specify which classifier should be used to obtain a prediction. We present an algorithm for learning MDTs based on the C4.5 algorithm for learning ordinary decision trees (ODTs). An extensive experimental evaluation of the new algorithm is performed on twenty-one data sets, combining classifiers generated by five learning algorithms: two algorithms for learning decision trees, a rule learning algorithm, a nearest neighbor algorithm and a naive Bayes algorithm. In terms of performance, stacking with MDTs combines classifiers better than voting and stacking with ODTs. In addition, the MDTs are much more concise than the ODTs and are thus a step towards comprehensible combination of multiple classifiers. MDTs also perform better than several other approaches to stacking.

Full paper [ps] [pdf]

Previous page

Bernard Zenko
Created: December 2001