Paired learners for concept drift

Stephen H. Bach and Marcus A. Maloof

To cope with concept drift, we paired a stable online learner with a reactive one. A stable learner predicts based on all of its experience, whereas a reactive learner predicts based on its experience over a short, recent window of time. The method of paired learning uses differences in accuracy between the two learners over this window to determine when to replace the current stable learner, since the stable learner performs worse than does the reactive learner when the target concept changes. While the method uses the reactive learner as an indicator of drift, it uses the stable learner to predict, since the stable learner performs better than does the reactive learner when acquiring a target concept. Experimental results support these assertions. We evaluated the method by making direct comparisons to dynamic weighted majority, accuracy weighted ensemble, and streaming ensemble algorithm (SEA) using two synthetic problems, the Stagger concepts and the SEA concepts, and three real-world data sets: meeting scheduling, electricity prediction, and malware detection. Results suggest that, on these problems, paired learners outperformed or performed comparably to methods more costly in time and space.

Paper available from IEEE.

  author = "Bach, S. H. and Maloof, M. A.",
  title = "Paired learners for concept drift",
  booktitle = "{Proceedings of the Eighth IEEE International Conference
     on Data Mining}",
  year = 2008,
  pages = "23--32",
  publisher = "IEEE Press",
  address = "Los Alamitos, CA",
  location = "Pisa, Italy, 15--19 December 2008",
  anote = {