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On the mean accuracy of statistical pattern recognizers

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The overall mean recognition probability (mean accuracy) of a pattern classifier is calculated and numerically plotted as a function of the pattern measurement complexity n and design data set sizem. Utilized is the well-known probabilistic model of a two-class, discrete-measurement pattern environment (no Gaussian or statistical independence assumptions are made). The minimum-error recognition rule (Bayes) is used, with the unknown pattern environment probabilities estimated from the data relative frequencies. In calculating the mean accuracy over all such environments, only three parameters remain in the final equation:n, m, and the prior probabilityp_{c}of either of the pattern classes. With a fixed design pattern sample, recognition accuracy can first increase as the number of measurements made on a pattern increases, but decay with measurement complexity higher than some optimum value. Graphs of the mean accuracy exhibit both an optimal and a maximum acceptable value ofnfor fixedmandp_{c}. A four-place tabulation of the optimumnand maximum mean accuracy values is given for equally likely classes andmranging from2to1000. The penalty exacted for the generality of the analysis is the use of the mean accuracy itself as a recognizer optimality criterion. Namely, one necessarily always has some particular recognition problem at hand whose Bayes accuracy will be higher or lower than the mean over all recognition problems having fixedn, m, andp_{c}.

Published in:

Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 1968

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