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Transformation Based Ensembles for Time Series Classification

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  • Computer Science


Until recently, the vast majority of data mining time series classification (TSC) research has focused on alternative distance measures for 1-Nearest Neighbour (1-NN) classifiers based on either the raw data, or on compressions or smoothing of the raw data. Despite the extensive evidence in favour of 1-NN classifiers with Euclidean or Dynamic Time Warping distance, there has also been a flurry of recent research publications proposing classification algorithms for TSC. Generally, these classifiers describe different ways of incorporating summary measures in the time domain into more complex classifiers. Our hypothesis is that the easiest way to gain improvement on TSC problems is simply to transform into an alternative data space where the discriminatory features are more easily detected. To test our hypothesis, we perform a range of benchmarking experiments in the time domain, before evaluating nearest neighbour classifiers on data transformed into the power spectrum, the autocorrelation function, and the principal component space. We demonstrate that on some problems there is dramatic improvement in the accuracy of classifiers built on the transformed data over classifiers built in the time domain, but that there is also a wide variance in accuracy for a particular classifier built on different data transforms. To overcome this variability, we propose a simple transformation based ensemble, then demonstrate that it improves performance and reduces the variability of classifiers built in the time domain only. Our advice to a practitioner with a real world TSC problem is to try transforms before developing a complex classifier; it is the easiest way to get a potentially large increase in accuracy, and may provide further insights into the underlying relationships that characterise the problem.

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