An Eager Splitting Strategy for Online Decision Trees

10/20/2020 ∙ by Chaitanya Manapragada, et al. ∙ 0

We study the effectiveness of replacing the split strategy for the state-of-the-art online tree learner, Hoeffding Tree, with a rigorous but more eager splitting strategy. Our method, Hoeffding AnyTime Tree (HATT), uses the Hoeffding Test to determine whether the current best candidate split is superior to the current split, with the possibility of revision, while Hoeffding Tree aims to determine whether the top candidate is better than the second best and fixes it for all posterity. Our method converges to the ideal batch tree while Hoeffding Tree does not. Decision tree ensembles are widely used in practice, and in this work, we study the efficacy of HATT as a base learner for online bagging and online boosting ensembles. On UCI and synthetic streams, the success of Hoeffding AnyTime Tree in terms of prequential accuracy over Hoeffding Tree is established. HATT as a base learner component outperforms HT within a 0.05 significance level for the majority of tested ensembles on what we believe is the largest and most comprehensive set of testbenches in the online learning literature. Our results indicate that HATT is a superior alternative to Hoeffding Tree in a large number of ensemble settings.

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