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Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are a powerful and widely used pattern recognition technique. However, they remain "black boxes" giving no explanation for the decisions they make. This paper presents a new algorithm for extracting a logistic model tree (LMT) from a neural network, which gives a symbolic representation of the knowledge hidden within the ANN. Landwehr's LMTs are based on standard decision trees, but the terminal nodes are replaced with logistic regression functions. This paper reports the results of an empirical evaluation that compares the new decision tree extraction algorithm with Quinlan's C4.5 and ExTree. The evaluation used 12 standard benchmark datasets from the university of California, Irvine machine-learning repository. The results of this evaluation demonstrate that the new algorithm produces decision trees that have higher accuracy and higher fidelity than decision trees created by both C4.5 and ExTree.
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:37 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2007