Combining and choosing case base maintenance algorithms

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Cummins, Lisa
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University College Cork
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Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) uses past experiences to solve new problems. The quality of the past experiences, which are stored as cases in a case base, is a big factor in the performance of a CBR system. The system's competence may be improved by adding problems to the case base after they have been solved and their solutions verified to be correct. However, from time to time, the case base may have to be refined to reduce redundancy and to get rid of any noisy cases that may have been introduced. Many case base maintenance algorithms have been developed to delete noisy and redundant cases. However, different algorithms work well in different situations and it may be difficult for a knowledge engineer to know which one is the best to use for a particular case base. In this thesis, we investigate ways to combine algorithms to produce better deletion decisions than the decisions made by individual algorithms, and ways to choose which algorithm is best for a given case base at a given time. We analyse five of the most commonly-used maintenance algorithms in detail and show how the different algorithms perform better on different datasets. This motivates us to develop a new approach: maintenance by a committee of experts (MACE). MACE allows us to combine maintenance algorithms to produce a composite algorithm which exploits the merits of each of the algorithms that it contains. By combining different algorithms in different ways we can also define algorithms that have different trade-offs between accuracy and deletion. While MACE allows us to define an infinite number of new composite algorithms, we still face the problem of choosing which algorithm to use. To make this choice, we need to be able to identify properties of a case base that are predictive of which maintenance algorithm is best. We examine a number of measures of dataset complexity for this purpose. These provide a numerical way to describe a case base at a given time. We use the numerical description to develop a meta-case-based classification system. This system uses previous experience about which maintenance algorithm was best to use for other case bases to predict which algorithm to use for a new case base. Finally, we give the knowledge engineer more control over the deletion process by creating incremental versions of the maintenance algorithms. These incremental algorithms suggest one case at a time for deletion rather than a group of cases, which allows the knowledge engineer to decide whether or not each case in turn should be deleted or kept. We also develop incremental versions of the complexity measures, allowing us to create an incremental version of our meta-case-based classification system. Since the case base changes after each deletion, the best algorithm to use may also change. The incremental system allows us to choose which algorithm is the best to use at each point in the deletion process.
Case based reasoning , Case base maintenance
Cummins, L. 2013. Combining and choosing case base maintenance algorithms. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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