Recurrent Bayesian Classifier Chains for Exact Multi-Label Classification

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Walter Gerych, Tom Hartvigsen, Luke Buquicchio, Emmanuel Agu, Elke A. Rundensteiner


Exact multi-label classification is the task of assigning each datapoint a set of class labels such that the assigned set exactly matches the ground truth. Optimizing for exact multi-label classification is important in domains where missing a single label can be especially costly, such as in object detection for autonomous vehicles or symptom classification for disease diagnosis. Recurrent Classifier Chains (RCCs), a recurrent neural network extension of ensemble-based classifier chains, are the state-of-the-art exact multi-label classification method for maximizing subset accuracy. However, RCCs iteratively predict classes with an unprincipled ordering, and therefore indiscriminately condition class probabilities. These disadvantages make RCCs prone to predicting inaccurate label sets. In this work we propose Recurrent Bayesian Classifier Chains (RBCCs), which learn a Bayesian network of class dependencies and leverage this network in order to condition the prediction of child nodes only on their parents. By conditioning predictions in this way, we perform principled and non-noisy class prediction. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our RBCC method on a variety of real-world multi-label datasets, where we routinely outperform the state of the art methods for exact multi-label classification.