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Feature selection is an important data preprocessing technique in classification problems. This paper proposes two new fitness functions in binary particle swarm optimisation (BPSO) for feature selection to choose a small number of features and achieve high classification accuracy. In the first fitness function, the relative importance of classification performance and the number of features are balanced by using a linearly increasing weight in the evolutionary process. The second is a two-stage fitness function, where classification performance is optimised in the first stage and the number of features is taken into account in the second stage. K-nearest neighbour (KNN) is employed to evaluate the classification performance in the experiments on ten datasets. Experimental results show that by using either of the two proposed fitness functions in the training process, in almost all cases, BPSO can select a smaller number of features and achieve higher classification accuracy on the test sets than using overall classification performance as the fitness function. They outperform two conventional feature selection methods in almost all cases. In most cases, BPSO with the second fitness function can achieve better performance than with the first fitness function in terms of classification accuracy and the number of features.
Evolutionary Computation (CEC), 2012 IEEE Congress on
Date of Conference: 10-15 June 2012