Classification as Clustering: A Pareto Cooperative-Competitive GP Approach


Intuitively population based algorithms such as genetic programming provide a natural environment for supporting solutions that learn to decompose the overall task between multiple individuals, or a team. This work presents a framework for evolving teams without recourse to prespecifying the number of cooperating individuals. To do so, each individual evolves a mapping to a distribution of outcomes that, following clustering, establishes the parameterization of a (Gaussian) local membership function. This gives individuals the opportunity to represent subsets of tasks, where the overall task is that of classification under the supervised learning domain. Thus, rather than each team member representing an entire class, individuals are free to identify unique subsets of the overall classification task. The framework is supported by techniques from evolutionary multiobjective optimization (EMO) and Pareto competitive coevolution. EMO establishes the basis for encouraging individuals to provide accurate yet nonoverlaping behaviors; whereas competitive coevolution provides the mechanism for scaling to potentially large unbalanced datasets. Benchmarking is performed against recent examples of nonlinear SVM classifiers over 12 UCI datasets with between 150 and 200,000 training instances. Solutions from the proposed coevolutionary multiobjective GP framework appear to provide a good balance between classification performance and model complexity, especially as the dataset instance count increases.