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Optimizing the Area Under a Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve With Application to Landmine Detection

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3 Author(s)
Wen-Hsiung Lee ; NIITEK Inc., Sterling, VA ; Paul D. Gader ; Joseph N. Wilson

A common approach to training neural network classifiers in a supervised learning setting is to minimize the mean-square error (mse) between the network output for each labeled training sample and some desired output. In the context of landmine detection and discrimination, although the performance of an algorithm is correlated with the mse, it is ultimately evaluated by using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. In general, the larger the area under the ROC curve (AUC), the better. We present a new method for maximizing the AUC. Desirable properties of the proposed algorithm are derived and discussed that differentiate it from previously proposed algorithms. A hypothesis test is used to compare the proposed algorithm to an existing algorithm. The false alarm rate achieved by the proposed algorithm is found to be less than that of the existing algorithm with 95% confidence

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 2 )