Binary classification trees : a comparison with popular classification methods in statistics using different software

Lamont, Morné Michael Connell
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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Consider a data set with a categorical response variable and a set of explanatory variables. The response variable can have two or more categories and the explanatory variables can be numerical or categorical. This is a typical setup for a classification analysis, where we want to model the response based on the explanatory variables. Traditional statistical methods have been developed under certain assumptions such as: the explanatory variables are numeric only and! or the data follow a multivariate normal distribution. hl practice such assumptions are not always met. Different research fields generate data that have a mixed structure (categorical and numeric) and researchers are often interested using all these data in the analysis. hl recent years robust methods such as classification trees have become the substitute for traditional statistical methods when the above assumptions are violated. Classification trees are not only an effective classification method, but offer many other advantages. The aim of this thesis is to highlight the advantages of classification trees. hl the chapters that follow, the theory of and further developments on classification trees are discussed. This forms the foundation for the CART software which is discussed in Chapter 5, as well as other software in which classification tree modeling is possible. We will compare classification trees to parametric-, kernel- and k-nearest-neighbour discriminant analyses. A neural network is also compared to classification trees and finally we draw some conclusions on classification trees and its comparisons with other methods.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Beskou 'n datastel met 'n kategoriese respons veranderlike en 'n stel verklarende veranderlikes. Die respons veranderlike kan twee of meer kategorieë hê en die verklarende veranderlikes kan numeries of kategories wees. Hierdie is 'n tipiese opset vir 'n klassifikasie analise, waar ons die respons wil modelleer deur gebruik te maak van die verklarende veranderlikes. Tradisionele statistiese metodes is ontwikkelonder sekere aannames soos: die verklarende veranderlikes is slegs numeries en! of dat die data 'n meerveranderlike normaal verdeling het. In die praktyk word daar nie altyd voldoen aan hierdie aannames nie. Verskillende navorsingsvelde genereer data wat 'n gemengde struktuur het (kategories en numeries) en navorsers wil soms al hierdie data gebruik in die analise. In die afgelope jare het robuuste metodes soos klassifikasie bome die alternatief geword vir tradisionele statistiese metodes as daar nie aan bogenoemde aannames voldoen word nie. Klassifikasie bome is nie net 'n effektiewe klassifikasie metode nie, maar bied baie meer voordele. Die doel van hierdie werkstuk is om die voordele van klassifikasie bome uit te wys. In die hoofstukke wat volg word die teorie en verdere ontwikkelinge van klassifikasie bome bespreek. Hierdie vorm die fondament vir die CART sagteware wat bespreek word in Hoofstuk 5, asook ander sagteware waarin klassifikasie boom modelering moontlik is. Ons sal klassifikasie bome vergelyk met parametriese-, "kernel"- en "k-nearest-neighbour" diskriminant analise. 'n Neurale netwerk word ook vergelyk met klassifikasie bome en ten slote word daar gevolgtrekkings gemaak oor klassifikasie bome en hoe dit vergelyk met ander metodes.
Thesis (MComm) -- Stellenbosch University, 2002.
Trees (Graph theory), Binary system (Mathematics), Discriminant analysis, Mathematics -- Software, Statistical methods