On the Consistency of Multiclass Classification Methods

Ambuj Tewari, Peter L. Bartlett; 8(May):1007--1025, 2007.

Abstract

Binary classification is a well studied special case of the classification problem. Statistical properties of binary classifiers, such as consistency, have been investigated in a variety of settings. Binary classification methods can be generalized in many ways to handle multiple classes. It turns out that one can lose consistency in generalizing a binary classification method to deal with multiple classes. We study a rich family of multiclass methods and provide a necessary and sufficient condition for their consistency. We illustrate our approach by applying it to some multiclass methods proposed in the literature.

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