Competition Among Networks Improves Committee Performance

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 9 (NIPS 1996)

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Paul Munro, Bambang Parmanto


The separation of generalization error into two types, bias and variance (Geman, Bienenstock, Doursat, 1992), leads to the notion of error reduction by averaging over a "committee" of classifiers (Perrone, 1993). Committee perfonnance decreases with both the average error of the constituent classifiers and increases with the degree to which the misclassifications are correlated across the committee. Here, a method for reducing correlations is introduced, that uses a winner-take-all procedure similar to competitive learning to drive the individual networks to different minima in weight space with respect to the training set, such that correlations in generalization perfonnance will be reduced, thereby reducing committee error.